Hanukkah stabbing suspect indicted on federal hate crimes

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Ramapo police officers escort Grafton Thomas from Ramapo Town Hall to a police vehicle, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Ramapo, N.Y. Thomas is accused of stabbing multiple people as they gathered to celebrate Hanukkah at a rabbi’s home in the Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City. (AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal)

NEW YORK (AP) – A federal grand jury has handed up hate crime charges against the man accused of stabbing five people with a machete during a Hanukkah celebration north of New York City.

Thursday’s indictment charges Grafton Thomas with five counts each of attempting to kill victims based on their religion and obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs by attempting to kill with a dangerous weapon. 

Thomas also faces state charges in the Dec. 28 attack inside the home of a rabbi in Monsey. His defense attorney has said Thomas has a long history of mental illness. 

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