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Man held in W.Va. hate crime case

January 22, 1998

Man held in W.Va. hate crime case

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Virginia man being sought on charges of malicious wounding and committing a hate crime turned himself in Tuesday, West Virginia State Police said.

Stacey Allen Cooper, 31, of 314 West Lane, Winchester, was arraigned Tuesday night before Magistrate Harold E. Darlington and was jailed on $5,000 bond.

The charges against Cooper stem from a Jan. 4 assault outside Gables Night Club in Inwood, W.Va.

According to state police, a black man assaulted and stabbed Jacob A. Bates, 21, of Winchester, in the club's parking lot.

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Bates was slashed and stabbed eight times in the face, back and wrist. He was released from Winchester Medical Center the same day. Bates later told police he had never met his assailant before that night.

Bates, who is white, said he was at the nightclub with a black woman, but denied that had anything to do with the attack. He said he was in the restroom talking with a black friend when a man accused him of making a racist remark.

The man and Bates had two more verbal confrontations in the bar before the attack. Bates and his date were waiting for some friends in the parking lot when the man attacked him, he said.

Trooper E.D. Burnett said Cooper agreed to turn himself into police on Tuesday afternoon.

If convicted of committing a hate crime, Cooper could face up to 10 years in prison.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely has said that it was only the second time since the law was enacted 10 years ago that someone in the county has been charged with a hate crime.

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