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Plea by two N.S. brothers charged with hate crimes expected in April

Two brothers charged with hate crimes after a cross was burned in the yard of an interracial couple in Nova Scotia are scheduled to enter pleas on April 19.

WINDSOR, N.S. - Two brothers charged with hate crimes after a cross was burned in the yard of an interracial couple in Nova Scotia are scheduled to enter pleas on April 19.

Nathan Rehberg, 20, and Justin Rehberg, 19, appeared briefly in court in Windsor on Friday.

The case was put over because the prosecutor was not available.

The Avondale, N.S., men face charges of public incitement of hatred, mischief, uttering threats and criminal harassment.

Police laid the charges after racial slurs were allegedly hurled at Michelle Lyon and Shayne Howe, who have five children, in an incident outside their home in Poplar Grove, N.S., last month.

"I'm disappointed," Lyon said Friday. "You want this swiftly dealt with ... but there's nothing you can really do."

Howe said he was becoming frustrated with the justice system.

"Today should have been a plea. We should have known how things are going and now we're just back on track and have to wait another month to see what happens."

Howe said life is slowly starting to get back to normal for him.

"Step by step, but I still think about it constantly when I look out in my yard," he said.

The Rehbergs were released last week on $5,000 bail and were ordered to stay with their grandparents.

The case has drawn national attention and even condemnation from the Prime Minister's Office, which called the act a reprehensible one "that has no place in our country."

 
 
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