After a white man reportedly tried to stab a black man while saying the N-word, the Harris County District Attorney's Office is charging the white man with a hate crime.
James Scott Lee, who is also a suspected member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang, was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He reportedly yelled, “I hate n——— and I’m gonna kill me one today," while trying to stab the victim — which is what led prosecutors to upgrade the charges to a hate crime.
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“It can be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is motivated by racial hatred, but in this case, the defendant’s own words supply the evidence to charge him with a hate crime,” First Assistant District Attorney Tom Berg said.
According to the DA's office, the victim jumped into a car and locked the door in order to escape Lee. When Lee was arrested, police say, he also had brass knuckles.
On Wednesday, at the request of prosecutors, a judge raised Lee's bond to $250,000 — more than eight times the normal amount for an aggravated assault case. Prosecutors said Lee is either mentally unstable, or "has a deep-seated animosity toward African Americans," but poses a public-safety threat either way.
Instead of facing up to 20 years in prison, because of the hate-crime enhancement, Lee now faces life.