MAYS LANDING- A Bridgeton man pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree bias crime of a six-year-old girl, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.
Officials say, Kyle Powell, 31, pleaded guilty before the Honorable Jeffrey Waldman, J.S.C., to second degree Bias Crime. On June 28, 2018, Powell went on the social media website, Meetme.com, and posted below two photographs of the victim’s biracial daughter, age 6, racially offensive words, and threatened violence against her.
“Kyle Powell represents the worst that our society has to offer. Like a coward, he hid behind his keyboard and targeted an innocent six-year-old girl with racial slurs simply because she was bi-racial. I firmly believe that love will always overcome hate and that justice will always prevail. Hate has no place in Atlantic County or this world,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
The victim’s mother, who viewed the posts, was alarmed and notified the New Jersey State Police. The New Jersey State Police and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office took action to locate Powell based upon his online contact information on the website.
Once located, Powell provided a statement telling the officers that he takes offense to interracial relationships. During his factual plea basis, Powell admitted that he knowingly created these posts specifically to intimidate and threaten violence to the mother and her daughter based upon their race.
Powell also pleaded guilty to third-degree aggravated assault, significant bodily injury for an offense committed on November 7, 2018, when he admitted to punching and kicking a fellow inmate in the Atlantic County Justice Facility.
Powell’s plea will be for five years in New Jersey State Prison concurrent to 3 years New Jersey State Prison. Assistant Prosecutor Erika Halayko represents the State in this matter, according to officials.
Powell’s sentencing is scheduled for March 6. He is currently being held at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, awaiting sentencing and has been incarcerated since his arrest.