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Jeffrey Babbitt Death: Man charged with hate crime for allegedly throwing punch that left NYC man dead

Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, died of his injuries after he was punched in a potentially racially-motivated attack. WCBS

Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, died of his injuries after he was punched in a potentially racially-motivated attack.
Jeffrey Babbitt
CBS New York
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Lashawn Marten, a man who police say punched a 62-year-old New York City man in a park after threatening to "punch the first white man" he saw, has been indicted on a charge of manslaughter as a hate crime.

The upgraded charge against the 31-year-old Marten was unsealed Tuesday. He faces up to life in prison if convicted. A call to his lawyer for comment wasn't immediately returned.

Marten, who was reportedly homeless at the time of his arrest, was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam to determine if he's fit for trial.

Authorities say Jeffrey Babbitt died days after he was struck, then fell backward and hit his head in Manhattan's Union Square Park in early September.

Babbitt is white. Marten is black.

In an earlier jailhouse interview, Babbitt told the New York Daily News he's not racist because he's punched people of various races.

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