A Muslim man accused of murdering his wife and her boyfriend is the first person in the U.S. to be convicted of a hate crime for killing his girlfriend, her roommate and his girlfriend’s boyfriend.
Theodore N. Lacey Jr., 47, was convicted Monday of murdering the women in the Brooklyn apartment where he lived with his wife.
He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Lacey was accused of hitting his wife on the head with a hammer on Dec. 23, 2016.
He claimed that the victim was a member of a group of Muslim extremists who were harassing him.
He said that his wife grabbed a hammer and knocked the woman to the ground, then stabbed her with it.
She suffered multiple fractures to her face and neck.
Lacy, who is black, was also charged with stabbing a man who confronted him after the woman tried to break up a fight.
He was arrested days later, and was charged with murder in Brooklyn.
His defense attorneys have said that he was in fear for his life and that he believed his wife was trying to kill him.
His attorneys argued that the couple’s relationship with each other was volatile and that Lacey was angry and jealous of the fact that his ex-wife, whom he had been dating for about three years, was not with him.
Lace’s lawyers also have argued that he had PTSD and had been suicidal, and that it is the prosecution’s burden to prove his mental state.
Lace was originally charged with first-degree murder, but prosecutors dropped that charge when they found he was not criminally responsible for the attack.