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NYC Jury Convicts on Anti-Trans Hate Crime

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) - A man who threw plexiglass at the head of a transgender woman, amid shouts of anti-gay slurs, faces prison time after a jury convicted him of a hate crime.

A statement Friday from the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office notes that Kimball Hartman, the 29-year-old victim of the Oct. 12, 2014, attack in Bushwick, suffered a traumatic brain injury and underwent surgery to her skull.

On the night of the attack, Hartman had been walking on Bushwick Avenue, near Halsey Street, at about 11:20 p.m. with a gay friend.

A group approached the pair yelling, "We don't want faggots on our block," among other anti-gay slurs, according to a statement from prosecutors citing trial testimony.

Prosecutors say Mashawn Sonds, of Brownsville, "then picked up a piece of plexiglass and swung it at" Hartman.

As Hartman fled, Sonds threw the plexiglass and struck Hartman in the head.

The woman fell unconscious and began seizing and profusely bleeding from the back of her head.

Prosecutors say her injuries are likely permanent.

After a trial, a jury convicted 26-year-old Sonds today of first-degree assault as a hate crime.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun presided over the trial.

At sentencing on Jan. 13, 2016, Sonds faces up to 25 years in prison.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson hailed the trial conviction as the first secured by the newly created Hate Crime Unit.

"This defendant, acting out of hate, viciously attacked an innocent woman and left her on the ground for dead," Thompson said in a statement. "This was a cowardly, unprovoked and senseless attack on a person who was targeted merely because of her appearance. Today's conviction demonstrates that we will simply not tolerate bias-motivated violence anywhere in Brooklyn."

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