Two White Oklahoma men, who were arrested and charged for attacking a Black man as well as his friend, pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime, the Department of Justice announced on Tuesday.
According to FOX23, a two-count indictment brought against 28-year-old Devan Nathanial Johnson and Brandon Wayne Killian, 31, alleged that the two defendants attacked the Black man and his White friend on June 22, 2019. The assault happened at the parking area of the Brickhouse Saloon in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The indictment also claimed that the assault was racially-motivated.
In statements that were made to District Judge Bernard Jones during plea hearings in court this week, Johnson and Killian also admitted to physically assaulting the Black victim “because the man was Black,” the DOJ stated. The Black victim sustained bodily injury as a result of the assault.
“The defendants targeted a Black victim for a brutal attack simply because of the color of his skin,” United States Attorney Troester said. “Hate-fueled criminal conduct is morally reprehensible and can never be acceptable in a civilized society. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to combat all hate crimes.”
“Violent acts of hate and racism have no place in our community and will not be tolerated,” Special Agent in Charge Gray added. “The FBI will continue to use all authority granted to us by federal law to investigate crimes motivated by bias, and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Each defendant faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $ 250,000, the DOJ said in the statement. The victim will also receive restitution from the two defendants.