Brownsville man who struck transgender woman with plexiglass convicted of hate crime

A 26-year-old Brownsville man has been convicted of first-degree assault as a hate crime for striking a 29-year-old transgender woman in the head with a two-by-four piece of plexiglass last October, announced District Attorney Ken Thompson earlier this month.

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

According to trial testimony, 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.

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

“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. [This] conviction demonstrates that we will simply not tolerate bias-motivated violence anywhere in Brooklyn.”

Sonds will be sentenced on January 13, 2016, at which time he faces up to 25 years in prison.

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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