John Hall, 27, an Aryan Brotherhood member and inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Seagoville, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor after pleading guilty to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act stemming from his assault of a fellow inmate, whom he believed to be gay, the Department of Justice announced. Hall assaulted his fellow inmate with a dangerous weapon, causing bodily injury to the victim on Dec. 20, 2011. Hall was sentenced to serve 71 months in prison to be served consecutively with the sentence he is currently serving.
The assault occurred on Dec. 20, 2011, inside the FCI Seagoville when Hall targeted and attacked the victim, a fellow inmate, because he believed the victim was gay or involved in a sexual relationship with another male inmate. Hall repeatedly punched, kicked and stomped on the victim’s face with his shod feet, a dangerous weapon, while yelling a homophobic slur. The victim lost consciousness during the assault and suffered multiple lacerations to his face. The victim also sustained a fractured eye socket, lost a tooth, fractured other teeth and was treated at a hospital for the injuries he sustained during Hall’s unprovoked attack. Hall pleaded guilty to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act on Nov. 8, 2012.
“Brutality and violence based on sexual orientation has no place in a civilized society,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to prosecute acts motivated by hate.”
“This prosecution sends a clear message that this office, in partnership with attorneys in the department’s Civil Rights Division, will prioritize and aggressively prosecute hate crimes and others civil rights violations in North Texas,” said U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
This case was investigated by the FBI Dallas Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Errin Martin and Trial Attorney Adriana Vieco of the Civil Rights Division.