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Press Release

Utah Man Convicted on Hate Crime Charges After Attacking Three Men with a Metal Pole

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

After a five-day trial, a federal jury in Salt Lake City, Utah, found defendant Alan Covington guilty on three hate crime charges stemming from an incident in which the defendant attacked three men with a metal pole because he believed the men were Mexican.

The verdicts were announced by Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; John W. Huber, United States Attorney for the District of Utah; and Paul H. Haertel, Special Agent in Charge of the Salt Lake City Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Evidence presented at trial established that on Nov. 27, 2018, Covington entered a tire store, shouted at employees that he wanted to “kill Mexicans,” and then struck an employee in the head with a metal pole. The father of the victim rushed to help his son, who had been knocked to the ground with a serious head injury. While the father cradled his son’s head, Covington used the metal pole to strike the father in the back. When a third man tried to intervene to chase off the defendant, Covington swung the metal pole in an attempt to injure him. Covington was apprehended by police near the tire store, with a metal pole and a hatchet in his possession.

A sentencing date has not yet been set by U.S. District Judge Howard C. Nielson Jr.  Covington faces a maximum sentence of life in in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Salt Lake City Field Office of the FBI, with the cooperation of the Salt Lake City Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Drew Yeates of the United States Attorney’s Office and Special Litigation Counsel Rose E. Gibson of the Civil Rights Division.


Updated March 17, 2020

Civil Rights
Hate Crimes
Press Release Number: 20-208