Grafton Thomas, who is accused of stabbing multiple orthodox Jews at a Hanukkah party outside of New York City Saturday night, now faces multiple federal hate crimes charges.
Nicholas Biase, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, confirmed the new charges to TPM Monday. The New York Times first reported the new charges.
“Thomas is charged with five counts of obstructing the free exercise of religion in an attempt to kill,” Biase said in an email.
“Each of the five counts carries a maximum prison term of life.”
Thomas pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and a count of burglary in court on Sunday.
A spokesperson for Mr. Thomas’ attorney, Michael Sussman, told TPM that Sussman would hold a press briefing midday Monday, and that he otherwise was not responding to questions.