Man guilty in Hialeah hate crime case
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida man has been found guilty after trying to run over two young men with his vehicle because of their color.
Luis Alberto Gonzalez was found guilty on two counts of aggravated assault based on color, Thursday afternoon. "Verdict," said a juror, "we the jury of Miami-Dade County Florida, the 14th day of March 2013, find the defendant Luis Alberto Gonzalez as to count one guilty of aggravated assault."
Gonzalez is convicted of shouting racial slurs and trying to back his pickup truck onto Andy Alexander and Jarvis James on Jan. 2, 2012 in Hialeah.
The defense said Gonzalez was acting in self-defense. "They tried to kill that man that day, they tried to kill this man," said defense attorney Carlos Martinez.
The prosecution said Gonzalez' had a hatred for blacks since the McDuffie Riots of 1980. He was shot in the back during the riots, and told police he has blamed the blacks ever since that incident.
The alleged victims, Alexander and James, testified on Wednesday and said they were scared for their lives that night.
Prosecutor: "When you pulled your gun, were you trying to shoot and kill him?"
James: "Yes, I was."
James: "He was trying to kill me and Andy."
Gonzalez took a bullet to his neck and his truck crashed into a nearby funeral home.
Alexander and James ran from the scene, afraid police would not believe their story. Days later, police questioned the pair and found their stories coincided and released them.
"The jury made a compromise between what the state said happened and what we said happened," said Martinez.
Gonzalez could face five to 10 years in prison.
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