by Jackie Nunnery
LANCASTER—Discussions of justice often center around punishment, about paying for one’s crime. But what if there was an opportunity to do something different? What would that justice look like?
That is the question that Rev. Booker Carter and his wife, victims of a June hate crime, have been asking themselves the last two months as they worked with Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Spencer to craft a plea agreement in the case against Jason Michael Verlander of White Stone. This agreement was announced and accepted on Friday, August 5, at what was scheduled to be the start of a trial in Lancaster County Circuit Court.
Verlander was charged with two misdemeanors for hate crime assaults, two misdemeanors for disorderly conduct, one felony for maliciously throwing an object at an occupied motor vehicle, and one felony for intentional damage greater than $1,000 to Carter’s car, stemming from a June 14 incident in which Verlander yelled racial slurs while chasing them through the streets of Kilmarnock on his motorcycle. The attack started in the Tri-Star Supermarket parking lot and ended in the Walmart parking lot where Verlander threw an object at the Carters’ car before leaving the scene.
Spencer had previously stated that Verlander could have gotten up to 19 years with those charges, but that was not justice according to Rev. Carter and his wife…
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