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Three plead guilty in July stabbing attack

Men who assaulted Latino man get between five and 11 years in prison; woman set to begin pre-trial in same incident in January.

December 24, 2009|By Britney Barnes

Three men believed to be white supremacists pleaded guilty and were sentenced Friday for the stabbing and attempted murder of a Latino man in Huntington Beach.

Bret MacDonald Hicks, 30, of Riverside, Michael Aaron Powell, 21, of Anaheim, and Brian Charles Hanson, 27, of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of attempted murder, aggravated assault and hate crime battery causing injury with a sentencing enhancement for committing a hate crime with others, according to court documents.

Hicks was sentenced to 10 years, Powell to five years and Hanson to 11 years and eight months in state prison. A fourth co-defendant, Erin Lee Brooks, 25, of Costa Mesa, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and hate crime battery causing injury. She is expected to begin a pre-trial hearing in January, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

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The three men and Brooks were driving through a residential alley in a predominantly Latino neighborhood with the intention of attacking a random person about midnight in July. They spotted Sergio Hernandez outside his home talking to friends. They stopped the truck, got out and ran at Hernandez. The three men started punching, kicking and stabbing him while Brooks allegedly yelled encouragements from the truck.

Hernandez’s friends ran out to defend him while a female friend called 911. Hicks, Powell and Hanson got back to their truck and fled the scene, but were pulled over by the Huntington Beach police about 10 minutes later. Police found a bloody knife in the truck.

Hernandez had stab wounds in his torso and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Hicks and Hanson were also given medical treatment for injuries during the fight.

Brooks is expected to begin pre-trial Jan. 7 in W-14 at the West Justice Center in Westminster.


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