update deskU.S. News

California man, who tried to kill two Jews in Los Angeles, to plead guilty

“The defendant’s hatred led him to plan the murder of two innocent victims simply because he believed they were practicing their Jewish faith,” an FBI official in Los Angeles said.

FBI logo. Credit: Dzelat/Shutterstock.
FBI logo. Credit: Dzelat/Shutterstock.

A former resident of Riverside, Calif., who shot and wounded two Jewish men in February 2023 as they left synagogues in Los Angeles, agreed to plead guilty to hate crimes and firearms offenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Jaime Tran, 29, faces life in federal prison for each of two counts of hate crimes with intent to kill and life in prison and mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years each for two counts of “using, carrying and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence,” per the U.S. Justice Department.

In a plea agreement that prosecutors filed on Tuesday, Tran would be sentenced to 35 to 40 years in prison.

“This defendant sought to murder two men simply because they were Jewish,” stated Martin Estrada, U.S. attorney for the Central District of California. “Rather than allow these horrific crimes to divide us, however, our community came together and swiftly brought the perpetrator to justice. Hate and intolerance have no place in America.”

Krysti Hawkins, acting assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office stated that she hopes “that members of the Jewish community take some solace in knowing that he will not be in the position to target their fellow members.”

Per the plea agreement, Tran admits that he drove to the heavily Jewish Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, singled out a Jewish man, who was wearing a yarmulke and leaving synagogue, on each day and shot each intending to kill him. (Both victims survived.)

Tran also admits that he made violent antisemitic threats in 2018 and 2022.

He has been in police custody since his arrest on Feb. 17.

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