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3 face federal hate crime charges in Linda attack

A federal hate crimes indictment was handed down on Tuesday against three Olivehurst men in connection with a 2011 racially motivated attack on a black woman and a white man in Linda.

Billy J. Hammett, Perry S. Jackson, and Anthony M. Tyler were indicted in US District Court in Sacramento in connection with attacking two people on April 18, 2011, in the parking lot of the Full Stop Market at 1675 North Beale Road, according to the indictment.

"These cases take a lot of effort to investigate and we work with authorities in (Washington, DC) to ensure they hold to the standards of hate crime charges," said Lauren Horwood, a Justice Department spokeswoman.

All three Olivehurst men were first arrested in April 2011 and booked into the Yuba County Jail in connection with the incident.

The victims are said to be a 46-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man, both of Olivehurst, the Yuba County Sheriff's Department confirmed.

They pulled into the convenience store parking lot around 11 p.m. on 18, April 2011.

All three attackers used racial slurs while punching and kicking both victims, officials said. Tyler smashed the car windshield with a crow bar during the incident, officials said.

Yuba County Undersheriff Jerry Read said the injuries were not life-threatening.

Hammett switched T-shirts afterward with another man who ended up being arrested for the crime. Hammett later stepped forward and admitted involvement, authorities said.

All three were arrested on Tuesday in Yuba County. Hammett and Jackson pleaded not guilty before US Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd.

Tyler surrendered a short time later and is scheduled for arraignment today.

Hammett is also due back in court today for a detention hearing. Jackson is due back in court Friday.

They are being held in Sacramento County.

All three are scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday before US District Judge John A. Mendez.

Each is charged with one count of conspiracy and two counts each of violating the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Justice Department said a statement.

Passed in 2010, the Shepard-Byrd Act further criminalizes violent attacks that are based racial, gender, religious or sexual orientation motives.

If convicted on all charges, each defendant faces up to 15 years in prison and fines of more than $500,000, according to the Justice Department.

In April 2006, Hammett was sentenced to six years in prison for beating a 72-year-old black man. Authorities said Hammett was a member of a white supremacist gang.

CONTACT Rob Parsons at rparsons@appealdemocrat.com or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.


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