California Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Racially Motivated Assault on White Man and African-American Woman
Perry Sylvester Jackson, 28, of Marysville, Calif., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez to serve 70 months in prison for violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in a 2011 racially motivated attack against a white man and an African-American woman in Marysville. Jackson, who previously pleaded guilty on Dec. 17, 2013, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence and to pay restitution in the amount of $175. Co-defendant Billy James Hammett, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced on March 25, 2014, to serve 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release, as well as to pay $175 in restitution. Anthony Merrell Tyler, 33, also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
According to documents filed with the court, around 10:45 p.m. on April 18, 2011, a white man and an African-American woman parked their car at a convenience store in Marysville. Shortly afterward, the three defendants attacked the man and woman based on race. After calling the male victim a “[racial slur]-lover,” Jackson, who has the words “white power” tattooed on his legs, punched him twice in the head through the open passenger window. At the same time, Hammett kicked the woman in the chest. A few seconds later, Tyler smashed the car’s windshield with a crowbar. As the attack continued, the woman managed to take refuge inside the convenience store. All three assailants then descended upon the male victim and began attacking him in the parking lot. He sustained abrasions on his right forearm and knees, while the woman suffered bruising to her chest. At the end of the incident, Tyler used a racial slur to refer to an African-American witness.
Tyler is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8, 2014, where he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
This case was investigated by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner for the Eastern District of California and Trial Attorney Chiraag Bains of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.