Not-guilty pleas in racial threats case |

Not-guilty pleas in racial threats case

Two white men accused of threatening black visitors to Grass Valley and throwing objects at them pleaded not guilty Monday.

Nicholas A. Underwood, 21, of Nevada City and Craig J. McIlhenny, 22, of Grass Valley are scheduled to return Wednesday to Nevada County Superior Court for a felony conference. They have a preliminary hearing April 25.

The two were arrested April 9 after allegedly harassing and throwing objects at three black residents from the Sacramento area who were waiting for a bus in downtown Grass Valley, according to police.

Sunflower seeds were tossed, and later a can of soda, which missed a woman’s head, according to police. Police also said racially charged death threats were issued, and a loaded handgun was found beneath the driver’s seat of a Honda Civic McIlhenny was driving.

Both defendants are charged with criminal threats with special allegations that they had violated the black woman’s civil rights. Underwood is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon for the soda can incident, and McIlhenny also faces drunken driving and weapons charges.

Both remain at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility, a correctional officer said Monday night.

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