PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A white man serving a three- to six-year sentence in a Pennsylvania prison for beating a black man at a Pittsburgh rail station during a drunken argument has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime stemming from the same assault.
Twenty-three-year-old Ryan Kyle was given a three-year prison sentence Thursday in the federal case. The prison term will run concurrently with his state term. Kyle also was ordered to serve three years’ probation.
The victim, Kevin Lockett, told police he was getting on a trolley in May 2015, the night of a Kenny Chesney concert, when he heard racial slurs and Kyle and four friends confronted him.
Surveillance video shows Kyle grab Lockett around the waist and throw him onto the tracks. When Lockett climbed back onto the platform, Kyle began to punch him until he was motionless.
Kyle faced more severe state court charges, and was the only one charged with a federal hate crime, based on surveillance video of the incident.
“Mr. Lockett was certainly the victim here and was undeserving of everything that happened to him here. And I think he was just pointing out how certain people were very helpful to him,” Kyle’s attorney Al Burke said. “In fact, I think he was going out of his way to not make it a black and white issue himself.”
Prosecutors said the attack left lockett with several broken facial bones. Five surgeries followed.
“He’s expressed extreme amounts of remorse. His entire family has done so,” Burke said.
During the hearing, there was some disagreement between the government and Burke about what Kyle said in terms of racial remarks.
“There were several that were made that were attributable to him that I pointed out to the court were, at least according to the Port Authority Police Department, came from the other co-defendants,” Burke said.
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