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Utah man charged with hate crimes in attack on Mexicans

Posted at 4:59 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 16:59:02-05

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The U.S. government has charged a Utah man with a hate crime for his attack last year on three men who authorities say he targeted because they were Mexican.

Alan Dale Covington was indicted Wednesday on accusations that he attacked the men with a metal pole at a Salt Lake City tire shop and shouted that he wanted to "kill Mexicans." The victims survived but two of them suffered serious injuries. The incident occurred Nov. 27, 2018.

The 50-year-old Covington doesn't have an attorney listed. His public legal defender representing him on state assault charges didn't immediately return a phone message.

The attack renewed criticism of Utah's state hate crime laws, which doesn't protect specific groups and that prosecutors have said is essentially unusable.

A legislative proposal to strengthen the hate-crimes is under consideration this session.