andrew smith

Credit: The News Gazette

URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - A University of Illinois student has been sentenced to a year of court supervision after he made a tiny noose out of string and left it in an elevator on campus.

Andrew Smith, 20, of Normal, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to disorderly conduct, the News Gazette reports.

Smith admitted that he tied a string into a noose on Sept. 1 and left it in an elevator at Allen Hall in Urbana.

Smith will also have to serve 50 hours of community service and pay a $75 fine.

He had no prior criminal record. He will not have this conviction on his permanent record as long as he completes his sentence successfully.

The State's Attorney told the News Gazette Smith wrote apology letters and seemed sincere.

Back in September, he faced initial charges of a felony hate crime. Those were later downgraded to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in exchange for Smith's guilty plea.

Officials said they found no history of Smith showing racial prejudice.

β€œHe did it because he had heard stories of campus buildings being haunted,” the prosecutor said. The News Gazette reports Smith said he spent only, "30 seconds thinking about how his actions could be considered a hate crime.”

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