Three men were arrested on Tuesday on federal hate crime charges for an alleged racially charged attack on an African American woman and white man in Marysville on Apr. 18.
The men--Billy James Hammett, 28, Perry Sylvester Jackson, 27, and Anthony Merrell Tyler, 32 are accused of attacking the couple both verbally and physically. Hammett and Jackson are from Marysville while Tyler is from Olivehurst.
On Apr. 18, when the African American woman accompanied by a white man drove into the parking lot of a convenience store, Jackson allegedly called the man a "n***** lover". At this point, the indictment alleges that Jackson and Tyler attacked from the driver's side of the car.
Hammett and Jackson allegedly punched and kicked the couple and that Tyler smashed the car windshield in with crowbar.
Hammett and Jackson were arrested Tuesday in Marysville and were arraigned before a judge where they entered pleas of "not guilty." Tyler surrendered in Sacramento on Tuesday and will be arraigned on Wednesday.
The defendants are charged with one count conspiracy and two counts of violating a hate crimes prevention act.
If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the conspiracy charge and 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each of the two hate-crime charges.