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Hate crime charges withdrawn in Saratoga assualt

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Updated: 12/02/2013 5:33 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The Saratoga Springs Police Chief and DA met and reviewed the case of two men charged with a hate crime over the weekend, ultimately deciding to withdraw that charge.

The men will still face second-degree assault charges.

Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy, III and Saratoga Springs Police Chief Greg Veitch met Monday to review the charges pending against Shayne Richardson, 21, of Saratoga Springs, and Luis Garcia, 23, of Brooklyn. It is alleged that both Richardson and Garcia caused serious physical injury to another person during an assault, and they faced felony hate crime charges.  

The protocol for case review allows the Chief and the DA to meet and review the facts of a case at any point when a hate crime is under investigation or has been charged. 

According to authorities, under Section 485.05 of the Penal Law, it is not enough to simply utter a racial slur during the commission of the crime, but additional evidence, such as a history of documented hatred against a certain race, must be obtained in order for a charge to be sustained.

"The actor must not simply use the racial slur, but it must be shown by independent corroborating evidence that the actor used the racial slur and the actor intentionally selected the person against whom the offense is committed because of his race," read a statement released by authorities. 

As a result of the meeting, the hate crime assault charge will be withdrawn by the Saratoga Springs Police Department. According to officials, the investigation into whether or not the defendant may be charged with a hate crime will continue and may be ultimately determined by a grand jury in the future.

Instead, second-degree Assault charges will be pressed based on the allegation that the defendant intended to cause serious physical injury and caused such injury to another person. 

The victim was unconscious at the scene and transported to Saratoga Hospital and suffered numerous facial fractures, and is still in the hospital on Monday. The second victim did not suffer serious injury.

The investigation will continue by the Saratoga Springs Police Department. 

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