Prosecutors added the hate crime as an amendment to a charge of felony vandalism.

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) – One of five boys charged with trashing a schoolmate’s car in Manchester in June is facing a hate crime charge that he scratched swastikas on the car.

The additional hate crime charge could double the jail term if Arthur Kilburn, 16, is convicted, said a document filed Thursday in Vermont District Court by Bennington County prosecutors.

The car was a 1994 Audi 100 belonging to the family of Eric Nathan, a high school student at the Burr and Burton Academy, but the car was usually driven by him. Prosecutors interpreted the swastikas as a deliberate slur against Nathan, who is Jewish.

“The swastika is one of the most universally known symbols of hate in the world,” said State’s Attorney William Wright.

Prosecutors added the hate crime as an amendment to a charge of felony vandalism causing more than $1,000 worth of damage to the car. The amended charge raises the potential jail sentence from five years to ten years.

Four boys were charged as adults in the case: Kilburn, of Manchester, Jonathan S. Dean, 16, of East Dorset, Aiden Charbonneau, 16, of Manchester, and Frank Morales, 17 of East Arlington. A fifth, younger boy was charged in juvenile court. The boys charged as adults all face felony vandalism charges.

Two of the boys identified Kilburn as the one who drew the swastikas, said Deputy State’s Attorney Erica Hunter.

The boys told police that in three separate trips to the Nathan residence around 1:30 a.m. on June 15 after a night of drinking, one or more of the boys at various times smeared the car inside and out with mayonnaise, peanut butter and maple syrup, scratched the paint and urinated in the vehicle.

A hate crime is described in court records as “conduct maliciously motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, service in the armed forces or handicap.”

The defendants are due in court Oct. 27.


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