El Monte : Sentencing for Hate Crimes

A 31-year-old El Monte man was sentenced Monday to three years and four months in state prison for hate crimes directed at his Asian-American neighbor.

William Taylor, who was granted $100,000 bail on appeal by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, was convicted Sept. 21 of making terrorist threats and damaging property belonging to his neighbor, Sang Lam, 37.

Taylor was found guilty of posting a sign in December, 1992, on the fence bordering the two houses. The sign, which had a shotgun strapped to it, threatened all Chinese with death and contained a racial epithet, swastikas and Nazi-styled SS letters resembling lightning bolts. Taylor was also convicted of shooting a hole in the windshield of Lam's car.

Taylor's defense attorney unsuccessfully argued that Taylor was exercising freedom of speech with the sign. The prosecution said the sign made Lam fear for his safety.

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