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Commenters eager to debate the merits of hate-crime legislation have got a new local case over which to mull:

District resident Anthony Wright, 42, has been found guilty of “Bias-Related Simple Assault and Bias Threats To Do Bodily Harm” for harassing and threatening a neighbor over a period of two years. The harassment, which centered on his neighbor’s sexual orientation, culminated in Wright attacking his neighbor outside his home, threatening to stab him, and then telling him, “They don’t lock you up for hitting faggots.”

The details, from District anti-hate crime group Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV):

WASHINGTON DC, May 7, 2010 — A DC Superior Court jury found 42-year-old DC resident Anthony Wright guilty of Bias-Related Simple Assault and Bias Threats To Do Bodily Harm in a June 6, 2009 assault against an elderly man in SE Washington. Wright repeated threats to the same victim on August 27, 2009.

The USDOJ chronicled two years of a nearly constant barrage of name calling and harassment the 67-year-old gay man was subjected to by his neighbor which eventually escalated into an unprovoked attack in front of neighbors and friends on June 6, 2009. Wright was quickly released but continued to harass the victim, proclaiming, “They don’t lock you up for hitting faggots.”

On August 27, 2009 Wright confronted the victim in his own home and threatened to stab him and was again arrested. Wright was found guilty on both counts on April 28, 2010 and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12, 2010.

While GLOV commends the work of the USDOJ and MPD to bring the hate crime charges forward successfully, we are anxious to see that Wright recives the maximum penalty for his egregious crimes and for the suffering he caused his victim to endure for so long.