Hanukkah attack suspect pleads not guilty to federal hate crime charges

Hanukkah attack suspect pleads not guilty to federal hate crime charges
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The man accused of stabbing at least five people with a machete during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, N.Y., pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges on Monday, Reuters reported

Grafton Thomas, 37, faces 10 federal charges, each carrying a maximum prison term of life, in association with the Dec. 28 stabbing at a rabbi’s home.

He was arraigned at court in White Plains, N.Y., on the new charges Monday. 

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Federal prosecutors have said Thomas targeted his victims because they were Jewish. 

Authorities reportedly found anti-Semitic rhetoric in Thomas’s journals and on his phone, including drawings of swastikas, references to Nazism and an internet search for “German Jewish Temples near me.” 

Thomas’s family and attorney have said he has a “long history of mental illness and hospitalizations,” according to CNN

He has reportedly also pleaded not guilty to state charges of attempted murder.