US defendant pleads not guilty in swastika branding

November 22, 2010 21:37

ALBUQUERQUE — A New Mexico man pleaded not guilty on Monday to federal hate-crime charges in the case of a mentally disabled American Indian man who had a swastika branded on his arm.

William Hatch entered the plea at the federal courthouse in Albuquerque.Two co-defendants, Paul Beebe and Jesse Sanford, were not represented by an attorney and US Magistrate Robert Scott planned to have lawyers appointed for them. The judge scheduled arraignment Tuesday for Beebe and Sanford.

Besides branding a swastika on the Navajo man's arm using a heated metal clothes hanger, the three are accused of shaving a swastika onto the back of the 22-year-old victim's head and using markers to write "KKK" and "White Power" on him.

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