A federal grand jury in Ocala, Florida, has charged two Florida men with committing a hate crime. The indictment charging Roy Lashley, 55, and Robert Lashley, 52, was unsealed today following the arrest of Robert Lashley.
The indictment alleges that on or about Nov. 17, 2021, the defendants, aiding and abetting one another, willfully caused bodily injury to the victim, a Black man, because of his actual and perceived race. According to the indictment, the defendants repeatedly called the victim racial slurs and repeatedly struck the victim with closed fists and an axe handle.
If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum term of 10 years imprisonment, three years of mandatory supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg of the Middle District of Florida made the announcement. The FBI and the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office investigated the matter. Trial Attorneys Maura White and Matthew Tannenbaum of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. Bodnar Jr. for the Middle District of Florida are prosecuting the case.
For more information and resources about the department’s work to combat hate crimes, visit www.justice.gov/hatecrimes.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.