A New Jersey man is facing federal hate crimes and attempted murder charges after he allegedly carried out a series of violent attacks targeted at Jewish people.
Federal Prosecutors Charge New Jersey Man with Attacks on Jewish Individuals, Other Criminal Offenses
Dion Marsh, 27, was charged by federal prosecutors for a spree of crimes that Marsh committed on April 8, 2022. Prior to the attacks, Marsh allegedly told family members that “it’s going to be a bloodbath” and cited his animus towards Jewish people. Marsh carried out his attacks in Lakewood, NJ, a community that is majority Orthodox Jewish and also home to a smaller Hasidic community.
Marsh’s first crime involved a carjacking, where he forced a motorist out of his Toyota Camry, assaulted the man, and then sped off in the vehicle. Later-obtained video surveillance also showed Marsh attempting to carjack two other vehicles. Later that afternoon, Marsh allegedly struck a pedestrian with the Camry he had stolen. An hour later, Marsh encountered a third victim whom he stabbed in the chest. Finally, an hour after that Marsh ran down a fourth victim in the stolen vehicle.
Law enforcement was able to quickly identify Marsh as the suspect when an anonymous Lakewood resident contacted police and stated that they recognized Marsh as the suspect in the surveillance video from the carjacking. Marsh was tracked to his Manchester residence after police obtained a warrant for his cell phone location information. When officers arrived at Marsh’s home, they found him lying in bed with a machete-like object on his chest.
During a recorded interview with investigators following his arrest, Marsh admitted to the carjacking, stabbing, and hit-and-runs, stating that he was specifically targeting Hasidic Jews.
On the date of Marsh’s spree, police also received a call from a father who reported that someone had attempted to force his son into a vehicle, although prosecutors have not charged Marsh with that incident.
Marsh was placed into custody, where he is also facing related state charges from the events on April 8.
Penalties for Conviction on Federal Hate Crimes Offenses
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is a federal law that criminalizes violence that is perpetrated against a victim because of their actual or perceived protected status, such as race, color, national origin, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Under the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act, part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, federal courts are authorized to impose harsher penalties for violent crimes that are committed against a victim because of an actual or perceived characteristic.
A conviction under federal hate crimes statutes can result in a sentence of 10 years in prison. However, for certain serious violent offenses, such as kidnapping, sexual assault, or attempted murder, or if the offense ultimately resulted in the victim’s death, sentencing courts are authorized to impose up to a life sentence.
In addition to federal hate crimes, New Jersey law also has the criminal offense of bias intimidation, which is defined as committing a crime for the purpose of intimidating a person or group because of their protected characteristic. Bias intimidation raises the grading of the underlying criminal offense by one degree.
Contact an Experienced Haddon Heights Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Hate Crimes Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with hate crimes in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC have successfully represented clients charged with hate crimes in Cherry Hill, Haddon Township, Camden, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-386-4892 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office located at 313 White Horse Pike, First Floor Haddon Heights, NJ 08035, in addition to offices located in Hamilton.
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