Livingston Man Charged For Hate Crime - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Livingston Man Charged For Hate Crime

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LIVINGSTON -

A 34-year-old Livingston man is behind bars after allegedly assaulting a man then hitting him with a car.

Robert Todd Campbell Kelsey is charged with aggravated assault and malicious intimidation relating to civil or human rights, both felonies.

In Park County District court on Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to both counts. According to court documents, Kelsey was harassing the victim about his past involvement with a gang, using racial slurs, repeatedly.

"The basis behind the argument isn't clear at this point. The statements seem to indicate that Kelsey was simply trying to provoke a fight," said Brett Linneweber, Park County Attorney. "Kelsey was using racial slurs toward the victim, goading him and attempting to start a fight."

Documents state as the victim walked away, Kelsey began punching him. Court documents also state that after the assault, the victim said he was hit by a vehicle.

"His vehicle was seized through a search warrant with damage consistent with striking a person," said Linneweber. "The damage includes damage to the windshield, contact with the body and there was some blood smears."

Court records state the victim was bleeding from the top of his head, face and neck. He suffered a fractured skull along with internal injuries.

"The victim is improving. I can't give too much detail on it, but with it being aggravated assault that means he suffered serious bodily injury," said Linneweber.

Linneweber said hate crimes like this are rare in the county.

"The smaller counties are a little more rural and a little less diverse. We haven't had one for a number of years," said Linneweber.

David Counts lives across the street from where the incident happened on North Sixth.

"The only one I saw was the victim being put in the gurney," said Counts. "He didn't want to go, but they finally got him in the gurney and loaded him up in the ambulance."

Counts didn't see the actual assault, but noticed multiple police lights outside his home.

"It kind of crazy, cops were everywhere. They were checking around the block, going up and down the streets and by cars," said Counts.

If convicted, Kelsey could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000 for each charge. Kelsey is being held at the Gallatin County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond.

Kelsey was released from prison early this year after serving five years for a burglary he committed in 2007.

After this hate crime, Linneweber said he is working to revoke the five-year sentence that was suspended from his previous case, which would send him back to prison.

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