Defendants Charged in Swastika Branding

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SANTA FE, NM—Federal hate-crime charges have been filed against three men accused of using a heated wire hanger to burn a swastika into the arm of a 22-year-old mentally challenged Navajo man.

Jury selection in the trial is set for April 4, 2011, in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Chief Judge Bruce D. Black is presiding over the case.

The indictment includes details of the assault that were not made public when the incident was first reported in April.

The victim also had a swastika shaven into the hair on the back of his head along with "KKK" and "White Power" written on his body with markers, according to prosecutors.

The suspects are Paul Beebe, 27, William Hatch, 29, and Jesse Sanford, 25, all of Farmington. Each is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.