ROCKINGHAM — Sheriff’s deputies have filed hate crime charges against a city man accused of a racially motivated beating.
Deputies say 26-year-old Thomas Earl Guinn Jr. of 280 Mill Road attacked Jonathan Brown on School Street east of Rockingham. Guinn jumped on Brown and punched and kicked him repeatedly last Saturday, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
“Guinn was using racial slurs and slander during the assault,” sheriff’s Capt. Jay Childers said in a Thursday statement.
A warrant for Guinn’s arrest states that he “unlawfully and wilfully attacked Jonathan Brown because of his race.”
Deputies charged Guinn with ethnic intimidation, a Class 1 misdemeanor. North Carolina law states that a person is guilty of the offense if he or she assaults another person, damages personal property or threatens a person because of race, color, religion, nationality or country of origin.
Guinn also faces a charge of misdemeanor assault and battery.
A convicted felon, Guinn served probation on January 2012 convictions of assault with a deadly weapon and assault inflicting serious injury in Scotland County. He was released from prison in February 2008 after serving a 1-year, 3-month prison sentence on a 2007 conviction of assault inflicting serious bodily injury in Richmond County.
Three months before his August 2007 guilty verdict, Guinn was convicted of the same assault charge and served three months in prison, according to the N.C. Division of Adult Correction.
Records show Guinn also served prison time on two Richmond County assault convictions from 2005 after he violated his probation and a judge activated his suspended sentence.
Guinn was booked into the Richmond County Jail on Saturday and released the same day on a $500 secured bond. He was fingerprinted and is barred from having any contact with Brown as conditions of his release, according to court records.
His first appearance in Richmond County District Court is scheduled for July 3.
Reach Editor Corey Friedman at 910-997-3111, ext. 13.