Two plead guilty in federal court to Marysville hate crime

Two Yuba County men pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to committing a hate crime when they assaulted a couple because the man is white and the woman is black.

Perry Sylvester Jackson, 28, and Billy James Hammett, 29, admitted launching the attack on the night of April 18, 2011, while the couple sat in a car parked in a convenience store lot in Marysville.

At the outset, Jackson confessed, he called the white man a “n----- lover” and punched him twice in the head through the open front passenger window of the car.

At the same time, according to Hammett, he kicked the African American woman in the chest.

A few seconds later, third defendant Anthony Merrell Tyler, 33, also a resident of Yuba County, smashed the car’s windshield with a crowbar, according to Jackson and Hammett. Tyler is awaiting trial.

The woman managed to take refuge in the store, according to plea agreements and related documents filed with the court. The agreements say that after the woman ran from the car, all three defendants descended upon and began pummeling the man.

The victims are identified in court papers only by initials.

The man sustained abrasions on his right forearm and knees, and the woman suffered pains and bruising to her chest, the plea agreements say.

Jackson and Hammett are scheduled to be sentenced March 25.