A federal grand jury in Ocala, Florida, has charged two Florida men with committing a hate crime by attacking a Black and striking him with an ax handle, according to prosecutors.

Roy Lashley, 55, and Robert Lashley, 52, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida for hate crimes after they were arrested for alleged attacks on Black man. (Citrus County Sheriff’s Office)

The indictment unsealed Friday alleges that Roy Lashley, 55, and Robert Lashley, also shouted racial slurs during the beating. The attack occurred on Nov. 17, 2021.

If convicted, the defendants each face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The FBI and the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office investigated the matter.

According to officials, 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

By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.