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Marian Hudak

Source: Concord Police Department / Concord Police Department

A convicted North Carolina white supremacist who owned a KKK flag and Nazi memorabilia was sentenced under federal hate crime guidelines for terrorizing Black and brown people, including using racial slurs and threatening to kill them on multiple occasions.

But as serious as Marian Hudak’s crime are — a jury quickly rendered its verdict in January after hearing evidence about the convicted hate criminal’s actions in two specific instances for which he was charged with willfully injuring, intimidating or interfering with individuals because of their race and color and, in one case, national origin — the sentence he received might have fallen short of some conventional expectations.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) — again, this was a federal hate crime investigated by the FBI — spelled out exactly what type of racist hate crimes Hudak was guilty of:

Evidence at trial also proved that on Oct. 13, 2022, Hudak encountered J.S., a Black man he had never met before, while they were driving on a public road in Concord, North Carolina. Hudak shouted racial slurs at J.S., told him to “come here, boy,” then got out of his car, punched J.S.’ window multiple times, then chased J.S. home where he continued to shout racial slurs and threatened J.S. Additional trial witnesses testified about other times Hudak shouted slurs at, gave the middle finger to and drove aggressively near other minority motorists. They also testified about a KKK flag, a racist publication and Nazi memorabilia Hudak kept in his residence.

Evidence at trial also proved that on Nov. 27, 2021, Hudak shouted racially charged insults at his next-door neighbor, J.D., a Hispanic man who was enjoying his right to occupy a dwelling. Hudak then attacked J.D. by punching and tackling him, causing J.D. to suffer bodily injury. Other trial witnesses testified about Hudak’s history of social media posts disparaging Hispanic people generally and J.D.’s family specifically and other instances where Hudak intimidated Hispanic people, including by parking his truck outside of a Hispanic church during worship services and by using derogatory language.

It was in that context last Thursday that the DOJ announced that Hudak had been sentenced to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Kristen Clarke, the DOJ’s Assistant Attorney General overseeing its Civil Rights Division, described the sentence as “severe” and suggested it will help deter future hate crimes of a similarly racist nature to Hudak’s.

“Racially-motivated acts of violence are abhorrent and unlawful, and have no place in our society today,” Clarke said in a statement. “This defendant, who harbored the KKK flag and Nazi paraphernalia, carried out hate-fueled attacks on a Black man who was merely driving on a public street and a Hispanic man who simply was trying to live in his own home. The severe sentence imposed for these vicious hate crimes should send a strong message that perpetrators of hate-fueled violence will be held accountable. The Justice Department is steadfast in its commitment to investigating and prosecuting hate crimes wherever they occur in our country.”

Hudak’s sentence stands in stark contrast to a Black man’s sentence for the same federal hate crime he committed against other Black people.

Izaye Eubanks was sentenced late last year to decades in federal prison after being convicted of terrorizing at least eight Haitian nationals with admitted federal hate crimes just “because of their national origin,” the DOJ reported at the time.

Eubanks, 22, of Springfield, Ohio, carried out his hateful criminal acts against people who looked like him in January and February of this year by committing “various assaults, robberies and a carjacking of Haitian individuals because of the victims’ actual and perceived national origin,” the DOJ said. “Eubanks would travel throughout Springfield looking for individuals he believed were from Haiti and then attack the individuals, usually by punching them and knocking them to the ground before robbing them of their money, cell phones, a vehicle and/or other personal belongings.”

For those hate crimes, Eubanks received a prison sentence of 20 years in federal custody.

“This defendant is being held accountable for repeatedly assaulting and robbing members of the Haitian community in Springfield, Ohio, because of their national origin,” Clarke said after the sentencing in December. “Attacks like these, where a group of individuals is targeted for violent abuse and robbery because of who they are, will not be tolerated. The Justice Department will continue to enforce our federal criminal civil rights laws to protect all people in this country, and we will prosecute predators who commit violent, bias-motivated crimes.”

According to data from Cornell University, sentencing guidelines for the federal hate crimes for which Hudak and Eubanks were convicted could include prison time of anywhere from 10 years to life in addition to fines.

This is America.


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