Oregon man charged with hate crimes in beating of 70-year-old woman from India

A grand jury charged the man with bias crimes "based on his statements regarding ... his expressed desire to rid America of people like her," prosecutors said.

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By Janelle Griffith

An Oregon man accused of breaking into a motel office and attacking a 70-year-old immigrant from India who owns the business has been charged with attempted murder and hate crimes, prosecutors said.

James Lamb in a jail photo.Deschutes County, Oregon, Jail / via AP

The man, James Lamb, 53, of Eugene, was charged Tuesday with attempted murder, two counts of bias crime, assault, burglary, strangulation, menacing and criminal mischief, the Deschutes County District Attorney's office said.

Lamb, who was staying at the Hub Motel in Redmond, broke into the manager's office on New Year's Eve and attacked the owner, prosecutors said. The woman suffered broken bones and remains hospitalized, but she is expected to survive.

"The grand jury charged Mr. Lamb with bias crimes based on his statements regarding the victim's country of origin being India and his expressed desire to rid America of people like her," the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

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District Attorney John Hummel said the victim provided heroic testimony to the grand jury from her hospital bed.

"Too many people in Oregon are silenced by intimidation and violence because of how they look, who they love, or to whom they pray," Hummel said. "Because of this woman's strength, and because the Oregon Legislature passed a law last year to strengthen Oregon's hate crime law, justice will be delivered in this case."

Lamb was being held in the Deschutes County Jail on $50,000 bail pending a court appearance Friday. His court-assigned public defender could not be reached for comment.