REDMOND, Ore. – Prosecutors say a man has been charged with attempted murder and hate crimes after breaking into a motel office and attacking a 70-year-old immigrant from India who owns the business with her husband, who is also an immigrant.
The husband said his wife remains in the hospital with injuries to her throat, a broken shoulder and black eye after the Dec. 31 attack at the Hub Motel in Redmond, Oregon. However, she is expected to survive.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that James Lamb was charged with bias counts based on statements about his desire to rid America of people like her.
The woman’s husband said they are U.S. citizens and have been in America for decades.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says prosecutors were able to bring the bias charges against Lamb thanks to the state’s revised hate crime law that was passed last year in the Oregon legislature.
Oregon’s revised hate crime law allows a felony hate crime to be charged when a defendant acts alone to harm another because of that person’s race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability or national origin. Previously, felony charges were only authorized if two or more people harmed another based on these motivations.
Hummel released the following statement regarding the case:
“The victim of this unprovoked assault provided heroic testimony to the grand jury from her hospital bed. Too many people in Oregon are silenced by intimidation and violence because of how they look, who they love, or to whom they pray. Because of this woman’s strength, and because the Oregon Legislature passed a law last year to strengthen Oregon’s hate crime law, justice will be delivered in this case. Hate is not tolerated in Deschutes County.”