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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Judge waits to sentence teen who cut Sikh student's hair

The Elmhurst teenager convicted of a hate crime in the cutting of a Sikh schoolmate's hair will not be sentenced until at least June, a Queens Criminal Court judge ruled Friday, delaying a decision that could ultimately break up the defendant's family.

Umair Ahmed, 18, was found guilty in February of menacing as a hate crime, coercion as a hate crime, criminal possession and harassment, the Queens district attorney said. The Pakistani-born Muslim, who is scheduled to return to court June 5, could be sentenced to as much as four years in prison.

If the sentence involves jail time instead of youth-offender treatment, Ahmed could face deportation when his sentence ends, separating him from his parents and five siblings.

But Judge Joel Blumenfeld put off the decision until Ahmed receives a psychiatric evaluation and possible anger management treatment, a process that takes roughly six weeks. [Link]

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