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NJ man who tried to kill Orthodox Jews pleads guilty in federal court

Dion Marsh faces life in prison and $1.5 million in fines for driving a car he stole from one Orthodox Jew into four others, one of whom he stabbed.

Police Tape. Credit: Matt Gush/Shutterstock.
Police Tape. Credit: Matt Gush/Shutterstock.

Dion Marsh, 29, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to five counts of hate crimes and one count of carjacking. 

“Marsh is charged with willfully causing bodily injury to five victims and attempting to kill and cause injuries with dangerous weapons to four of the victims because they are Jewish,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

On April 8, 2022, Marsh “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,” stated Philip Sellinger, U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey. 

Each of the victims in Lakewood, N.J., was “attired in traditional garments worn by members of the Orthodox Jewish community” and the five “were assaulted because they were visibly identifiable Orthodox Jews,” per the U.S. attorney’s office.

Marsh injured the first Orthodox man, whom he forced out of his car. Some four hours after stealing that car, he drove a different car into an Orthodox man, and 45 minutes later, he used the same car to drive into a third Orthodox man. Nearly an hour later, he used the car he stole from the first victim to hit another Orthodox man, whom he also stabbed in the chest with a knife. About an hour and a half after that, he drove the car he stole from the first victim into a fifth Orthodox Jew.

“My office will ask the judge to impose a sentence that holds Marsh accountable for his brutal and hate-filled rampage. The threat from hate-fueled violence is a sad reality across our state and our nation,” Sellinger stated.

“That hate is not who we are. We are stronger as a people, because no matter what you look like, how you worship, where you come from or who you love, your civil rights must be respected and protected,” the U.S. attorney added.

Marsh is scheduled to be sentenced on June 11. He faces life in prison and up to $1.5 million in fines for the four hate crimes with attempted murder, the hate-crime assault and the carjacking.

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