June 24, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Former Riverside Resident to Plead Guilty to Hate Crimes Against Jewish Men

Man Agrees to Face Justice for Pico-Robertson Area Shooting

A former Riverside resident who shot and wounded two Jewish men as they left religious services in the Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles last year has agreed to plead guilty to hate crimes and firearms offenses, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Jaime Tran, 29, has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of hate crimes with intent to kill and two counts of using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and about a crime of violence, according to court documents. Tran is expected to enter his guilty plea before United States District Judge George H. Wu in the coming weeks.

Upon pleading guilty, Tran could face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison for each hate crime count and a maximum of life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for each firearm count. Under the terms of the plea agreement filed by prosecutors Friday, Tran would receive a prison sentence of between 35 and 40 years.

United States Attorney Martin Estrada condemned Tran’s actions, stating, “This defendant sought to murder two men simply because they were Jewish. Hate and intolerance have no place in America. We will remain firm in our approach of using all the tools at our disposal to aggressively prosecute acts of hate.”

Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Krysti Hawkins, expressed relief that Tran had admitted to the crimes, saying, “The defendant’s hatred led him to plan the murder of two innocent victims simply because he believed they were practicing their Jewish faith.”

According to court documents outlining Tran’s plea agreement, he developed antisemitic beliefs and made violent threats toward Jewish people, culminating in the shooting incident in February 2023.

Tran’s antisemitic statements began in 2018 when he left dental school after making hate-filled statements about other students whom he perceived to be Jewish. These statements escalated from August to December 2022, including violent language and threats directed at a former classmate.

in NEWS
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