Three White Men Convicted of Hate Crime in Attack at Houston Bus Stop
A midnight attack in which four shirtless white men - three with white supremacist tattoos - cornered and beat a black man at a downtown bus stop was deemed a federal hate crime Monday by a jury that returned the first conviction of its kind in Houston.
A federal jury convicted the trio - Charles Cannon, 26, Michael McLaughlin, 41, and Brian Kerstetter, 32 - for attacking Yondell Johnson simply because of his race.
Prosecutors dismissed charges last month against a fourth defendant, Joseph Staggs, 49, who testified against the other three.
The convictions carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
The four men ran into each other on Houston streets and “bonded” over the white supremacist tattoos, prosecutors said. Removing their shirts, the four approached Johnson, a 29-year-old African-American, as he waited for a bus at Travis and McKinney late on Aug. 13. They asked him for the time before at least one of the men used a racial epithet.