Two brothers were sentenced in federal court this week for hate crime charges in connection with their racially motivated attack on a Black man in Citrus Springs.
On Wednesday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced that 56-year-old Roy Lamar Lashley has been sentenced to 60 months in prison, and his brother, 52-year-old Robert Dewayne Lashley, has been sentenced to 36 months in prison.
Roy and Robert both pleaded guilty to the charges in October 2022.
According to the plea agreement, on November 17, 2021, Roy and Robert traveled to the Family Dollar store in Citrus Springs. The victim was shopping inside, and Roy repeatedly used racial slurs inside the store in reference to the victim. The brothers then proceeded to follow the victim into the store’s parking lot.
While in the parking lot, Roy retrieved an axe handle from the bed of his pickup truck and struck the victim multiple times with it. During the attack, Robert also struck the victim multiple times.
The plea agreement stated that Roy and Robert both directed racial slurs towards the victim before, during, and after the attack. The brothers admitted that they willfully caused bodily injury to the victim because of the victim’s actual or perceived race or color.
“Driven by bigotry and hate, the defendants brutally assaulted a Black man for no other reason than his race,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
“Racially motivated violence is abhorrent, unlawful, and has no place in America today. Aggressive prosecution of hate crimes is a top priority for the Civil Rights Division, and these sentences should send a message to others who would carry out similar acts of violence that they will be brought to justice,” added Clarke.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Citrus County Sheriff’s Office investigated the matter.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Maura White and Matthew Tannenbaum of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hamilton for the Middle District of Florida.