Thurmont Man Convicted Of Ten Counts, Including Three Hate Crimes

He harassed his neighbors who are a same-sex couple.

Michael David Burns (Photo from Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office)

Frederick, Md (KM) Sentencing is scheduled for April 4th for a Thurmont man convicted of ten counts, including hate crimes. The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office says following a three-day trial, a jury found Michael David Burns, 43, guilty on Friday of trespassing on private property, trespassing on posted property,. two counts of disorderly conduct, two counts of harassment as well as three counts of hate crimes.

Prosecutors say the victims, who are a same sex couple, reported to the State’s Attorney’s Office that Burns had been trespassing on their property, and harassing them. Assistant State’s Attorney Carly Gibson started an investigation by visiting the home beginning in March, 2023, and reviewed the evidence which included the defendant continuously trespassing on the victims’ property while in possession of a rifle, throwing large rocks on their driveway preventing them from accessing their property, , and verbally harassing the victims with hate-based threats. . These findings led to charges against Burns, the State’s Attorney’s Office says.

Circuit Court Judge Julie Stevenson Solt ordered Burns placed on home detention until his sentencing date

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities, regardless of race, sexual orientation, faith or other status,” says State’s Attorney Charlie Smith, in a statement. “When hateful words turn into hateful actions, the State’s Attorney’s Office will work diligently to protect the public and secure a just outcome. Hopefully, these convictions send a strong message that hate will not be tolerated in Frederick County.”..

By Kevin McManus