SEATTLE (AP) — A fourth defendant has pleaded guilty in federal court to a hate crime for beating a Black DJ unconscious at a bar in Washington state in 2018.
Jason Stanley, of Boise, Idaho, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Wednesday. He is one of four men from across the Pacific Northwest prosecuted for punching and kicking the DJ at a bar in Lynnwood, north of Seattle, while yelling racist slurs.
The defendants were members of white supremacist groups marking what they refer to as “Martyr's Day,” an annual gathering honoring a white supremacist who died in a shootout with federal agents on nearby Whidbey Island in the 1980s.
They went to a bar where they made Nazi salutes on the dance floor, started a confrontation with the DJ and beat him unconscious while yelling racial slurs. They also attacked two biracial people who tried to intervene on the DJ's behalf.
“Violent, hate-driven conduct that has no place in our society today," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a news release. “The Department of Justice will continue to use every resource at its disposal to fight white supremacist violence.”
Stanley, 46, also pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI when he initially claimed he wasn't in the state at the time of the attack.
Daniel Dorson, of Corvallis, Oregon; Randy Smith, of Eugene, Oregon; and Jason DeSimas, of Tacoma, Washington, previously pleaded guilty to hate crime and false-statement charges. None has yet been sentenced. The hate crime charge carries up to 10 years in prison.
Stanley is due to be sentenced by Judge Richard Jones on Jan. 6.