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WHITE PLAINS, New York (Reuters) - The man accused of stabbing at least five people in a machete rampage at the home of a Hasidic rabbi during a Hanukkah celebration pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges on Monday.
A federal grand jury indicted Grafton Thomas, 37, late last week with additional counts of hate crimes for the Dec. 28 stabbing of members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, New York, bringing the number of federal charges he faces to 10.
Thomas attended his arraignment in White Plains, a suburb north of New York City, in orange jail fatigues as members of his family sat in the courtroom and waved at him.
He spoke only briefly to answer the judge’s questions, confirming his name and age and saying that he has taken the drug Prozac.
Federal prosecutors have said Thomas targeted his victims because of their Jewish faith. In a criminal complaint filed last month, they cited journals they seized from the suspect’s home containing references to Adolf Hitler, Nazi culture and the Black Hebrew Israelites movement, identified by extremism experts as an anti-Jewish hate group.
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