BALTIMORE (AP) _ A white supremacist who goes by the nickname "Hitler'' used his sentencing hearing on Monday to apologize to an elderly black man he beat a year ago, saying he is "haunted'' by his actions.
Calvin E. Lockner, 29, was sentenced to 31 years in prison for the racially motivated attack last August on James Privott and related crimes. The 77-year-old victim, who is black, was fishing with his wife in a south Baltimore park when Lockner and two teenagers kicked him and beat him with a baseball bat, then stole his car, according to persecutors.
Lockner told police the beating wouldn't have happened if the victim had been white. He belongs to white supremacist groups and has a tattoo of Adolf Hitler on his midsection, and police said he used the Nazi leader's name as a nickname.
Lockner did not speak at the sentencing, but his public defender, Audre Davis, read a statement written by her client. He said in the statement that he regrets the beating and thinks about how he would have felt if something similar had happened to his late grandfather.
"I live in a haunted state of mind,'' Lockner said, adding that his goal was to repair his "shattered life'' and “become a better, peaceful, more God-fearing man.''
Lockner offered a formal apology to Privott and said he hoped the victim and his family could move on with their lives.
"I should have been able to conduct myself as a man, but chose the actions of a boy,'' he said.
Privott, who spoke briefly, did not describe the beating or its racial undertones but said the aftermath was rough on him and his family. He lost two teeth and suffered a broken eye socket.
"For about three weeks, I couldn't see,'' he said. "I wanted to let you know that this situation was extremely stressful.''
Privott declined to speak to reporters after the hearing.
Lockner pleaded guilty last week to armed carjacking, first-degree assault and harassment based on race or religion. He received a 30-year sentence for those crimes and was given a 1-year consecutive sentence for throwing urine in the face of a corrections officer earlier this year. The officer declined to speak in court.
Lockner's co-defendant, 18-year-old Zachary Watson, is awaiting trial on similar charges. A second teenager had his case moved to juvenile court.
Lockner has spent most of his adult life in prison. He was charged in 2000 with raping a 38-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl, and received an 8-year sentence after a plea deal.