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20 Years for Transgender Hate Crime

BROOKLYN (CN) - A 26-year-old man got 20 years in prison for attacking a transgender woman with a plexiglass two-by-four that caused permanent brain damage.

Mashawn Sonds of the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn was convicted in December of first-degree assault as a hate crime for attacking 29-year-old Kimball Hartman in October 2014 while she and a gay male friend were walking down the sidewalk at night in the Bushwick neighborhood.

According to a statement from prosecutors citing trial testimony, the pair were confronted by Sonds and a group of his friends who shouted, "We don't want faggots on our block!"

As Hartman started to flee, Sonds, 26, picked up the plexiglass and threw it at her head, knocking her unconscious, prosecutors said. She began seizing and was bleeding profusely.

Authorities say she suffered a permanent brain injury after requiring emergency surgery to her skull.

"Hate led to the defendant's conviction. Justice led to his sentence," Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement.

The DA noted that it was the first trial conviction won by his newly minted Hate Crimes Unit.

The sentence was handed down Wednesday by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun.

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