Georgia teen who stabbed AutoZone staffer seven times wanted to kill a White man after watching cop firing videos
COLUMBUS, GEORGIA: 19-year-old Jayvon Hatchett was arrested this week after Columbus police released surveillance images of him assaulting a 51-year-old White male in what police call was a "premeditated, brutal assault".
According to reports, Hatchett was seen walking into an AutoZone on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, asking for a thermostat and after he was informed the store didn't have it, he stabbed a White employee in the neck and torso seven times. Witnesses said Hatchett fled the scene immediately after committing the assault. The surveillance footage also shows him fleeing the scene.
According to courtroom testimony, Police say Hatchett told them he had been watching videos on Facebook for hours of police shootings around the country. Police say he told them he decided during those videos he wanted to stab a White male. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. As it turns out, the 19-year-old had been charged for criminal damage to property just three days prior. Six months before that, he was reportedly booked for two felonies, including aggravated assault.
The police said that the victim had no apparent connection with the assailant. He was transported to the hospital in a critical condition but is now expected to recover — apparently lucky enough to survive the injuries. According to reports, Sgt Ray Mills told Judge Julius Hunter that Hatchett met him with a smile at his home when authorities went to capture him. He even readily confessed to the stabbing, adding that he "felt the need to find a White man to kill" after watching videos of police brutality across the country. His home was a short distance away from the AutoZone.
"Mr Hatchett told me that he had been watching Facebook videos of police shootings in other parts of the country and that he felt compelled to go stab a White male," SGT Mills testified. The presiding judge has ordered Hatchett to have mental health evaluation, declined to issue a bond, and is held at the Muscogee County Jail until the case is passed over to Superior Court.
If he is charged under the new hate crime law signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in June 2020, there might be tougher sentencing. While there is no hate crime charge that can be added at the law enforcement level, if this is proved in court, the judge can prolong the sentencing. Under the law, a person found guilty of committing a hate crime against someone because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability, or physical disability as it relates to these protected classes would face additional punishment from six months to a year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for one of five misdemeanour offences and at least two years in prison for a felony offence.