Three charged with branding man with swastika

US prosecutors said they will pursue hate crime charges against three men accused of branding a swastika on a mentally challenged man's arm using a heated metal clothes hanger.

Jesse Sanford, 24, William Hatch, 28, and Paul Beebe, 26, were charged in New Mexico with kidnapping, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and other felony charges. The men were jailed with bond set at 150,000 US dollars cash.

"We'll explore every conceivable available avenue in charging them with a hate crime because what happened to the victim was so horribly wrong," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Sarah Weaver.

The three white men are accused of forcing the 22-year-old victim from the Navajo Indian reservation into a car on April 29 and driving him to an apartment.

Besides branding the man's arm there, police said the suspects shaved a swastika into his hair and drew degrading words and pictures on his body with permanent marker.

Afterward, the trio allegedly kicked the victim out of the apartment, and a nearby convenience store clerk called police, the Farmington Daily Times reported.

Hospital employees washed off the degrading speech and pictures. A local barbershop cut the man's hair to remove the swastika, police Sergeant Robert Perez said.

Officers obtained search warrants for the apartment and the men's vehicle. Insignia associated with white supremacist beliefs were found in the apartment, Sgt Perez said.

"We haven't identified this as a gang-related crime. That is still under investigation," Sgt Perez said. "But they appear to be associated in some fashion to the white supremacist movement."

Sanford told police the victim came into a McDonald's restaurant where the three men worked and was looking for a place to stay.

Sanford claimed that the victim, who wanted a haircut and a tattoo, "wanted the swastika design because it was a tribal symbol", according to court records.

It was unclear whether the three suspects had lawyers.

New Mexico's hate crime law would add one year to the sentence for each charge if the men are convicted. The suspects face up to 351/2 years in prison, including a mandatory 18 years for kidnapping, if convicted of all the charges and the hate crime enhancement.

The New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission will help the victim with any medical, emotional or psychological issues that come about as a result of this crime, Ms Weaver said.

Farmington detectives also spoke with a plastic surgeon and were trying to make arrangements to have the damage to the victim's right bicep removed, Sgt Perez said.



Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?