Man Found Guilty of Bias Crimes Against Cold Spring Family
ST. CLOUD -- A Stearns County jury has convicted a Richmond man for a series of crimes against a bi-racial family in Cold Spring.
Thirty-three-year-old Benton Beyer has been found guilty of stalking, violations of harassment restraining orders, 1st-degree criminal damage to property, theft of a motor vehicle, and multiple counts of 2nd-degree assault.
The jury also found the charges were motivated by bias and there were aggravating factors because the crimes happened at the family's home and children were witnesses to the offenses.
Beyer was charged with intentionally crashing a vehicle into the family's home because his girlfriend had cheated on him with a black man.
Court records show Beyer was paranoid that she was continuing to cheat on him and became angry toward black men and used racial slurs repeatedly.
Beyer's girlfriend worked near the home of the biracial family whose home was damaged. He became increasingly paranoid that his girlfriend was sleeping with one of the family's sons.
The criminal complaint outlines several incidents of Beyer allegedly vandalizing the family's property and stalking them. The family was granted a harassment restraining order which court records allege Beyer violated a number of times.
In July of last year, Beyer stole an SUV, pointed it at the family's home, used a large piece of granite to hold down the accelerator, and fled the scene as it crashed into the house. He was arrested a short while later near a park.
Beyer will be sentenced on November 18th.
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