Men sentenced under hate crime law in Houston case

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 24 at 10:48 AM

HOUSTON -- Three white men convicted of attacking a black man at a Houston bus stop last summer have received prison sentences ranging from 2 ½ years to more than six years in the first Texas case to fall under a federal hate crime law.

The longest sentence ordered Monday by a federal judge was a 77-month term for 33-year-old Brian Kerstetter. Charles Cannon received a 37-month sentence, and Michael McLaughlin was sentenced to 30 months.

The 41-year-old McLaughlin and Kerstetter apologized in court. An attorney for the 26-year-old Cannon said his client was sorry.

A jury found the men guilty in April.

Investigators say the victim was punched and kicked while waiting for a bus.

All three men faced up to 10 years in prison under a law passed in 2009.

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