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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A Colorado trucker who almost killed a Black man by slashing his neck in an unprovoked assault at an japanese Oregon truck cease was sentenced on Thursday to 16 years in federal jail.

Nolan Levi Strauss, 27, pleaded responsible to a federal hate crime involving an try to kill, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

His lawyer argued that Strauss dedicated the crime as a result of he was off his psychological well being remedy and having a manic episode. However prosecutors stated there was no mistaking Strauss’ racial animosity within the Dec. 21, 2019, ambush in Ontario.

Strauss, of Colorado Springs, walked into the Arby’s subsequent to the Pilot Journey Heart alongside Interstate 84 close to the Idaho border and stabbed Ronnell Hughes within the neck.

Hughes grabbed his attacker’s fingers and fought for management of the knife earlier than he was in a position to break away from Strauss. Truck cease employees subdued Strauss.

Hughes was taken by ambulance to a neighborhood hospital after which flown by helicopter to Boise, Idaho, for emergency surgical procedure.

As Strauss was being restrained, a employee requested him why he attacked a stranger, and Strauss responded, “As a result of he was Black and I don’t like Black individuals,” in response to prosecutors.

Hughes flew to Oregon from Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday night time for the sentencing and stated he had by no means seen his attacker “as a result of he snuck up behind me” as he sat there.

“I don’t have any enemies and for somebody to simply sneak up on me and attempt to take my life from me … I’m offended, any person I don’t even know,” Hughes, 49, instructed U.S. District Choose Michael J. McShane in a Eugene courtroom.

The slashing lower his jugular vein and injured his thyroid cartilage. Hughes required months of bodily remedy to regain his voice and movement in his neck and arm.

The prosecutor performed segments of a police interview with Strauss after his arrest as he continued to say he focused Hughes solely as a result of he was Black and reiterated his disdain for Black individuals, reciting a collection of epithets.

Strauss in court docket acknowledged that he focused Hughes due to the colour of his pores and skin.

“I’m extraordinarily sorry for what I did. I wouldn’t try this in my proper way of thinking,” he stated. “I’m pleased that he survived.”

Strauss stated he’s discovered that he should “take his meds always.”

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