thomas__cosby_web_1.jpgDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A Port Orange man who slammed his car into a bicyclist then shouted racial slurs at her has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of a hate crime.

A Volusia County judge sentenced 58-year-old Thomas Cosby, who is white, on Thursday. He was convicted last month of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and battery evidencing prejudice.

He had faced up to 35 years in prison.

Authorities say Cosby veered his car off the road in 2008 to strike then-25-year-old Nekedia Cato, then yelled derogatory names at the black woman.

Prosectors say its rare to pursue assault charges as hate crimes because it's difficult to prove the defendant's motivation.

Arguing to get the sentence reduced, a defense attorney said Cosby had a history of mental illness. 

Pictured Above:     Thomas Cosby