Greene man admits to misdemeanor in racially charged incident

AUBURN — A 77-year-old Greene man agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to an incident in a Walmart parking lot last summer in which the defendant threatened to hit a Sabattus man with a baseball bat and spewed racial epithets.

Keith Clayton Hanning, 77, of 146 Sedgely Road, will be allowed to withdraw Monday's plea in a year and plead to a lesser charge in Androscoggin County Superior Court if he stays on the right side of the law.

Hanning pleaded guilty to criminal threatening, a Class D misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail. If Hanning complies with the terms of his plea and doesn't engage in criminal conduct, he'll be allowed to withdraw that charge this time next year and plead instead to disorderly conduct, a Class E misdemeanor. He won't face a fine or jail time, but the charge will remain on his criminal record.

Hanning must engage in mental health counseling with a focus on anger, violence and racial sensitivity issues as a term of the agreement. He must receive evaluations every three months starting in January. 

Meanwhile, state prosecutors filed a civil complaint against Hanning under the Maine Civil Rights Act seeking an injunction that would bar him from having any contact with the victim or his family. A hearing had been scheduled for early December on the state's motion for a preliminary injunction, but Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said Monday that Hanning has indicated his willingness to sign a consent order for a permanent injunction, making the need for a hearing unnecessary.

Police said Hanning was in the parking lot of the Auburn Walmart store on July 23 when a car pulled into a parking space and ran over the curb that bordered the parking space and median walkway in which Hanning had been walking.

Hanning yelled at the passenger, Tyrone Davis, who apologized to Hanning for the driver's error, according to court papers. The driver of the car, whose foot was encased in a support boot due to an earlier injury, got out of the car and apologized to Hanning.

As Davis began to explain why the driver had difficulty maneuvering the car, Hanning said, “Go back to Africa” and called Davis a “n-----” and said he would kick (Davis') ass,” according to court papers.

Davis was holding the couple's 2-year-old daughter in his arms during the confrontation. An infant son remained with his mother, who was white.

Hanning pushed Davis, then crossed the parking lot to his vehicle, where he retrieved a baseball bat and turned to Davis and his family, brandishing the bat, according to police.

Davis put down his daughter and walked to Hanning in an effort to keep him from coming near his children and their mother, police said.

Hanning threatened to hit Davis with the bat, prompting a number of witnesses to call 911, police said.

If Hanning signs a consent order for an injunction and he were to violate its terms, he could be charged with a Class D crime.

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Chuck Masselli's picture

I wonder

I wonder who else this guy hates? Italians? Jews? Native Americans? French?
Hispanics? You can bet it doesn't end with blacks!

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

I agree, and that's why this wasn't actually a hate crime

I agree, and that's why this wasn't actually a hate crime. This guy is just a nut and could have gone off on anybody that day. Had it been an obese white guy driving he would have called him a big fat slob instead of using racial epithets.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Actually this Hanning guy is pretty lucky.....

I don't care how old he was, If he came at me like that, I would have placed that bat somewhere he couldn't reach it, non-surgically.....................

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

This Hanning character seems like a real nut but

This Hanning seems like a real nut but I doubt the other guy was being as polite an apologetic as the story implies. Also, if wearing the cast makes driving so difficult that you're unable to properly park why are you driving? Seems incredibly unsafe to me.


Ya, these guys always say

Ya, these guys always say they were just asking politely, or apologizing, or just trying to break up a fight. Just cop to it!


"these guys"? Do you mean

"these guys"? Do you mean blacks? It looks like racism is alive and well huh Kathy?


What the WHAT??!! No, "these

What the WHAT??!! No, "these guys" meaning men who say those things. Morgan McDuffie was actually the one I had in mind, God rest him, and he wasn't black. I think the several black men I dated during my younger days would differ with your assessment of me.

RONALD RIML's picture

.Reckon 'Senility' is no longer an Affirmative Defense.....

Some folks just don't know Jim Crow is dead.......

 's picture

It's more than that...

Some folks are just A##holes, plain and simple.


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