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    Hateful admission, but no hate crime verdict

    ©Associated Press
    April 18, 2003

    WEST PALM BEACH -- A white man with mental problems was convicted of trying to run down a black man with his car, but a jury decided the attack wasn't a hate crime.

    Jeffrey Schlosberg, 35, was convicted of attempted second-degree murder for trying to kill Link Crump, but jurors did not apply the enhanced penalty of a hate crime.

    Schlosberg, of Boynton Beach, told police after the February 2002 incident that he disliked blacks and they should all die. But after deliberating three hours, the six-woman jury, which included one black, decided Schlosberg's actions were not motivated by racial hatred.

    Prosecutors originally charged Schlosberg with attempted first-degree murder for trying to run down Crump and Michael Aikens, who were working inside Schlosberg's gated community. Crump was slightly injured and Aikens jumped out of the way.

    Defense attorney Jason Weiss said during the trial that his client had stopped taking medications for bipolar disorder. He said Schlosberg has been hospitalized nine times since 1988 for the mental illness.

    Assistant State Attorney Renelda Mack said in closing arguments that Schlosberg was not suffering from a mental defect on the day of the crime.

    Schlosberg also was convicted of leaving the scene of the accident and driving with a suspended license. He was found not guilty of aggravated assault in his alleged attempt to hit Aikens.

    A sentencing hearing will be held in about six weeks, said Circuit Judge Stephen Rapp. Schlosberg has been in jail since his arrest.

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