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Man to be charged under W.Va. hate crime law

January 06, 1998

Man to be charged under W.Va. hate crime law

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police will be charging a Virginia man under the state's hate crime law for a racially-motivated stabbing Sunday morning outside an Inwood, W.Va., bar.

Trooper E.D. Burnett Sunday said the warrant on the unnamed suspect will be issued today. The Winchester man was still at large Monday night.

Burnett said he will seek a warrant from a magistrate after having conferred with Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely Monday. According to Burnett, Games-Neely told him it was only the second time anyone in Berkeley County will have been charged under the 1987 law.

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The previous case happened several years ago and involved a juvenile, according to Burnett.

Because the warrant has not been served, the suspect's name has not been released. However, a warrant for malicious wounding was issued Monday.

The man, who is black, allegedly stabbed Jacob A. Bates, 21, of Winchester five times in the back, twice in the head and once in the wrist during a fight outside Gables Night Club. Bates was later released from Winchester Medical Center.

Bates, who is white, went to the bar with a black woman, according to police reports. The suspect started a fight with Bates in the bar and then attacked him with a knife in the parking lot, police reports said.

If convicted, the suspect could face up to 10 years in prison, Burnett said.

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