SALT LAKE CITY – A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City, Utah, returned a three- count indictment Wednesday morning charging Alan D. Covington with violating 18 U.S.C. § 249 (hate crime) for attacking three men with a metal pole because he believed the men were Mexican, announced Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; John W. Huber, United States Attorney for the District of Utah; and Paul Haertel, Special Agent in Charge for the Salt Lake City Field Office of the FBI.
The indictment alleges that on Nov. 27, 2018, Covington entered the premises of a tire store, shouted that he wanted to “kill Mexicans,” and then struck L.G.L in the head with a metal pole. The indictment alleges that the attack against L.G.L. included an attempt to kill. According to the indictment, Covington also struck J.L. with a metal pole. Both men suffered bodily injury. The indictment further alleges that Covington swung the metal pole at A.L. in an attempt to injure A.L.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Covington faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by the Salt Lake City Field Office of the FBI, with the cooperation of the Salt Lake City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Drew Yeates of the United States Attorney’s Office in Utah and Trial Attorney Rose E. Gibson of the Civil Rights Division