Judge seeks to unify hearings in SJSU hate crime case

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Judge Lori Pegg, at a pre-trial hearing Tuesday in San Jose for defendant Joseph Bomgardner, said the cases against Bomgardner, 19, and his co-defendants Logan Beaschler, 18, Colin Warren, 18, would be considered together on March 4.

Bomgardner and Beaschler pleaded not guilty at their separate arraignments in December. Warren's arraignment before Pegg is on Wednesday.

Bomgardner, of Clovis, Beaschler, of Bakersfield, Warren, of Woodacre, and an unnamed juvenile male freshman student were charged in November with two misdemeanors each for alleged racial hate and assault incidents in a student residence hall on the SJSU campus between mid-August and mid-October last year.

Campus administrators suspended the three adult males and the juvenile, who has not been identified because he was a minor when he was charged, from SJSU last November amid an uproar from students and faculty over the case.

Prosecutors charged the defendants with hate crimes after alleging that the students wrote a racial slur on a board, called the black victim "three-fifths" and "fraction," put up a Confederate flag and pictures of Adolf Hitler and Nazi symbols and barricaded him in a room in their eight-person housing suite.

The defendants also face assault charges after the black student reported that they injured him when they locked a U-shaped bicycle lock around his neck, prosecutors said.

Sam Polverino, Bomgardner's attorney, told Pegg during today's hearing that the defense was still in the process of obtaining discovery evidence from prosecutors in the case.

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