BEND, Ore. (AP) — A La Pine man has been sentenced to 20 years in the state psychiatric hospital for brutally beating a 70-year-old woman in a racist attack last year.
The Bulletin reports James Lamb Jr. was one of the first people in Oregon charged under a new hate crime law for seriously injuring the co-owner of the Hub Motel, Meena Puri.
Puri is an Indian immigrant who’s lived with her family in Central Oregon for most of her life. Early on Dec. 31, 2019, Lamb broke into the office of the motel, where he was staying, after Puri told him he couldn’t use the office phone.
Lamb’s wife had driven him to the motel the night before because he was acting abusive toward her, according to Redmond Police.
Lamb broke down the office door, grabbed Puri and assaulted her. Police said Lamb told police investigators he wanted to “rid America of people like her.”
Puri suffered fractures to her neck, face and shoulder and was hospitalized for several weeks.
Lamb, 54, appeared this week in Deschutes County Circuit Court on charges of bias crime, burglary and assault. A charge of attempted murder was dropped as part of his plea deal.
Lamb was evaluated by psychological experts for the state and defense. Both agreed he met the legal criteria for a defense of guilty except for insanity.
Lamb was sentenced at the same hearing before Judge Walter Miller, who ordered Lamb be placed under the custody of the state Psychiatric Review Board and transferred to the Oregon State Hospital.