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Texas man pleads not guilty to charges in knockout game

Jan. 31, 2014 at 8:28 AM

KATY, Texas, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A Texas man pleaded not guilty to a federal hate crime charge for what prosecutors say was a racially motivated assault in a so-called knockout game attack.

Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, of Katy appeared in court Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Frances Stacy to enter his plea, the Houston Chronicle reported.

He is accused of punching a 79-year-old black man who was hospitalized for treatment of two jaw fractures.

Prosecutors said in a news release Barrett, who is white, recorded the alleged attack on his cellphone. In one of several video clips he says "the plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?"

Barrett allegedly laughed and said "knockout" before running to his vehicle and driving off. He has been charged with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Barrett's trial was tentatively set for March, the newspaper said. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

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