New Jersey man pleads guilty to federal hate crimes for assaulting, stabbing, driving into Orthodox Jews

A New Jersey man has admitted committing a series of violent assaults on members of the Orthodox Jewish community in and around Lakewood, New Jersey, according to a statement Thursday from the US Attorney’s Office in the District of New Jersey.

Dion Marsh, 29, of Manchester, pleaded guilty in federal court to five counts of violating the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of carjacking, relating to a series of incidents from April 2022. Marsh also pleaded guilty to state charges last week, according to a New Jersey Superior Court spokesperson.

Marsh was charged with willfully causing bodily injury to five victims, and attempting to kill and cause injuries with dangerous weapons to four of them because they were Jewish, the US Attorney said. All of the victims survived. US Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said Marsh assaulted each of the victims because they were Orthodox Jews.

“This defendant violently attacked five men, driving a car into four of them, stabbing one of them in the chest, and attempting to kill them, simply because they were visibly identifiable as Orthodox Jews,” Sellinger said in a statement.

“Today, he pleaded guilty to these hate crimes and a carjacking, and my office will ask the judge to impose a sentence that holds Marsh accountable for his brutal and hate filled rampage,” Sellinger said.

Marsh waived his rights and gave investigators a videotaped statement after he was apprehended in April 2022, CNN previously reported, citing the federal criminal complaint. He allegedly told investigators, “It had to be done,” and that “these are the real devils.”

The US attorney said the four hate crimes violations charging Marsh with attempting to kill those victims each carry a statutory maximum term of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The hate crime violation charging Marsh with assaulting the other victim carries a statutory maximum term of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The carjacking charge carries a statutory maximum term of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Marsh is scheduled to be sentenced on the federal charges on June 11. Marsh is also facing sentencing on the state charges he pleaded guilty to last week.

CNN has reached out to a federal defense attorney listed for Marsh for comment.

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