Brownsville man gets 20 years for 2014 hate crime

January 14, 2016 Meaghan McGoldrick
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A 26-year-old Brownsville man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for striking a 29-year-old transgender woman in the head with a two-by-four piece of plexiglass in October of 2014, announced District Attorney Ken Thompson on Wednesday, January 13.

Photo courtesy of District Attorney Ken Thompson
Photo courtesy of District Attorney Ken Thompson

The victim – Kimball Hartman – sustained a traumatic brain injury, underwent surgery to her skull, and will likely suffer permanent injuries.

According to trial testimony, on October 12, 2014, the woman was walking with a gay male friend on Bushwick Avenue near Halsey Street when, at around 11:20 p.m., the defendant – Mashawn Sonds – and friends approached the pair yelling anti-gay slurs. Sonds then picked up a piece of plexiglass and swung it at the victim, who was knocked unconscious and began to seize.

“This defendant, acting out of hate, viciously attacked an innocent woman and left her on the ground for dead,” said Thompson. “This was a cowardly, unprovoked and senseless attack on a person who was targeted merely because of her appearance.

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“Hate led to the defendant’s conviction,” he went on. “Justice led to his sentence.”

This was the first trial conviction secured by the newly-created Hate Crime Unit, which is a part of the District Attorney’s Civil Rights Bureau.

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