Nov 12, 2010 3:18 PM by Greg Boyce

Three men charged with hate crime in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A federal grand jury in Albuquerque has indicted three Farmington men on hate-crime charges in what prosecutors say was a racially motivated attack on a mentally disabled Navajo man.

Justice Department officials say 27-year-old Paul Beebe, 29-year-old William Hatch and 25-year-old Jesse Sanford face charges of conspiracy and violating a federal hate-crimes act.  They are accused of using a coat hanger to brand a swastika on the victim's arm in April.

Prosecutors say the defendants also shaved a swastika on the back of the man's head and used markers to write "KKK" and "White Power" on him. The indictment alleges the defendants made a cell phone video in which the victim, who has a significant cognitive impairment, purportedly consents to the branding.

Beebe, Hatch and Sanford also face state charges.


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