White Texan Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime

HOUSTON (CN) – A white Texan who filmed himself breaking an elderly black man’s jaw by punching him in the face faces 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a hate crime.
     Conrad Alvin Barrett, 29, of Katy, recorded himself with his cell phone punching the then-79-year-old man, prosecutors said at a Tuesday hearing.
     “The plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?” Barrett asked himself before the assault, according to a charging document .
     Barrett showed the footage to an off-duty arson investigator he met at a restaurant, and asked if he had heard of the “knockout game,” CBS News reported at the time.
     The investigator flagged down a policeman and took him to Barrett, whose attorney said he is bipolar.
     Barrett’s punch broke the man’s jaw in two places and hospitalized him for several days.
     “This was a senseless and heinous act of violence that was committed simply because the victim was African American,” federal prosecutor Vanita Gupta said at the Tuesday hearing.
     U.S. District Judge Gray Miller set Barrett’s sentencing for Sept. 18. He faces up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine for violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

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