Charles Cannon, Two Others Guilty in Hate-Crime Beating of Black Man at Bus Stop

Charles Cannon faces sentencing.
Charles Cannon faces sentencing.

A Houston federal jury has convicted three men on hate-crime charges for beating up a random black man at a downtown bus stop.

Charles Cannon, 26, Michael McLaughlin, 40, and Brian Kerstetter, 32 were convicted under the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act; a fourth man saw his case dismissed in return for testifying against the others.

It's the first Byrd conviction in Houston, the FBI says.

The men were convicted of assaulting a black man last August.

Initially the case went to the Harris County DA's office, but it was decided to try the defendants under the federal act. The trial was handled by the Washington office of the Department of Justice.

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