An Aryan Brotherhood member in federal prison in Texas has been sentenced to 71 months after pleading guilty to committing an anti-gay hate crime against another inmate.
John Hall, 27, was prosecuted by the Justice Department under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Hall is imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution in Seagoville, Texas.
On March 14, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor sentenced Hall to another 71 months in prison for his assault of a fellow inmate, whom he believed to be gay, the Justice Department said in a news release.
The assault occurred on Dec. 20, 2011, inside the Seagoville prison. Hall, according to the Justice Department, targeted and attacked the victim 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 weapon, while yelling a homophobic slur.
The victim lost consciousness during the assault and suffered multiple lacerations to his face. He also sustained a fractured eye socket, lost a tooth and fractured other teeth.
Hall pleaded guilty to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act on Nov. 8, 2012.
After the sentencing, assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said, "Brutality and violence based on sexual orientation has no place in a civilized society. 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."
U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas said, "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."