An Indian-American motel manager was reportedly targeted for a racist attack last year by a man.
The accused Brandon K. Kilgore broke into the Kettle Falls Inn in Washington, managed by Preet Moudgil.
After following a trial, the 28-year-old Kilgore has been found guilty.
Lasted for two days, the trial had testimony from a number of witnesses. Until police arrived, a customer at a gas station near the inn saw the attack and intervened, says the testimony.
The jury found Kilgore guilty of two of the five charges he initially faced, including two assault charges, a charge of first degree burglary and two counts of malicious mischief. One of the assault charges was tossed out for lack of victim testimony. The jury found Kilgore guilty of one count of second degree assault and one count of malicious mischief.
The guilty charges, which will put Kilgore behind bars for anywhere from one year to 14 months, still puzzles Moudgil more than a week after the jury announced its decision.
“The way the case was presented, they tried to make it look like he was a drunk guy who didn’t know what he was doing,” Moudgil said in Jan. 22 Spokesman-Review report, adding he was confused why Kilgore was not found guilty of the burglary charge. “He broke two doors in the house, came inside with a knife and threatened everybody, and still it’s not a burglary.”
Additionally, the jury did not view Kilgore's comments as a hate crime, according to prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.
During the break-in, Kilgore called Moudgil a “terrorist” and threatened to kill him along with his family. Moudgil’s parents and a child were home at the time of the attack. Moudgil was able to fend off the attacker and called emergency authorities.
According to police, the attacker eventually climbed onto the roof and entered through a sliding glass door and held a knife at the innkeeper. With Kilgore moving toward Moudgil, the innkeeper warned the attacker he had a pistol and advised him to stop.
Moudgil was among those testifying but wasn’t given enough time in advance to fly in his parents, who were back in India during the trial.
According to Kilgore’s attorney, the defendant became angry due to the lack of response from Moudgil in trying to help a friend at the inn get a shower chair.
Testimony showed that Kilgore was there to help a homeless man get a room for the night, but none was available.
The report said that the attempts before the trial to find Kilgore incompetent to stand trial due to a mental illness from his military service has failed.