HOUSTON - A Katy man was sentenced to 71 months in prison after being convicted of a federal hate crime.
Conrad Alvin Barrett, 29, was charged with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The United States Attorney's Office said Barrett pleaded guilty on June 30 to racially motivated assault against an 81-year-old black man.
Officials said Barrett attacked the man on Nov. 24, 2013, in what he called "knockout."
"The sentencing of the defendant today represents our office's continuing commitment to enforce senseless acts that violate our federal civil rights laws," said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. "Every citizen is entitled to this protection."
Barrett's sentence will be immediately followed with three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.
The U.S. Attorney's Office released a statement that read in part:
"At the time of his plea, evidence revealed that Barrett recorded himself on his cellphone attacking the African-American man. In the recording, Barrett questions whether there would be national attention if he attacked a person of color. Barrett also claimed he would not hit "defenseless people" just moments before punching the elderly man in the face and with such force that the victim immediately fell to the ground. Barrett then laughed and said "knockout" as he ran to his vehicle and fled. The victim suffered two jaw fractures and was hospitalized for several days as a result of the attack."
Authorities said Barrett will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the future.
"The defendant committed this shocking and violent assault against this vulnerable elderly man simply because he was African American," Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said. "The Department of Justice will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the rights of victims of violent crimes are vindicated."
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