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Swastika Branding Case: N.M. Man Pleads Not Guilty to Branding Mentally Challenged Native American

Police Say Three Men Shaved Swastika Into Victim's Hair (CBS/KRQE)

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CBS/AP) A New Mexico man has pleaded not guilty to federal hate-crime charges in the case of a mentally disabled American Indian man who had a swastika branded on his arm.

William Hatch entered the plea Monday at the federal courthouse in Albuquerque. Two co-defendants, Paul Beebe and Jesse Sanford, are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Besides branding a swastika on the Navajo man's arm using a heated metal clothes hanger, the three white men are accused of shaving a swastika onto the back of the 22-year-old victim's head and using markers to write "KKK" and "White Power" on him.

The men are accused of forcing the victim from the Navajo Indian reservation into a car on April 29, and driving him to an apartment. After the alleged incident, the trio allegedly kicked the victim out of the apartment, and a nearby convenience store clerk reportedly called police.

More on Crimesider

May 10, 2010 - Swastika Branded on Mentally Challenged Victim; Kidnapping, Hate Crime Charges Loom, Says D.A.