Hide Oregon Man Sentenced to 15 Months in Federal Prison for Hate Crime Targeting Eugene Church Benjamin Hernandez, of Eugene, Oregon, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for committing a hate crime targeting St. Mary Catholic Church in Eugene in September 2018 and illegally possessing ammunition.
Hernandez was escorted from St. Mary Church property on September 9, 2018, following an angry outburst during communion services. Over the following weeks, Hernandez was spotted around the property by security cameras and employees spraying door handles with pepper spray, making threatening gestures towards members of the congregation, and leaving a threatening note coupled with ammunition. As a result, staff and churchgoers were physically injured, frightened, and concerned about their safety.
Hernandez was arrested on September 21, 2018, and pleaded guilty on February 12, 2019, to obstruction or attempted obstruction of persons in the free exercise of their religious beliefs and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Guilty Plea: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/oregon-man-pleads-guilty-federal-hate-crime-threatening-shooting-spree-eugene-church