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Texas Inmate Pleads Guilty To Hate Crime

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal prison inmate in Texas has pleaded guilty to a hate crime charge after admitting that he beat another prisoner he thought was gay.

The Justice Department says 27-year-old John Hall pleaded guilty Thursday for a beating inside the facility in Seagoville near Dallas in 2011.

According to information presented in court, Hall admitted to punching and kicking the victim while using gay slurs. Prosecutors say the victim had facial cuts and chipped teeth.

Hall, who was set for release in August, faces up to 10 years in prison.

Hall was prosecuted under a federal law named after Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming college student who was murdered, and James Byrd Jr., a black man dragged to his death behind a pickup by three white men in East Texas.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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