In August 2011, Neo-Nazi Skinhead Ryan Zietlow-Brown stabbed an African-American man in the forehead with a pair of scissors “for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in association with” the white supremacist gang, the Santa Barbra Independent reports.
On Feb. 24, after pleading no contest to felony charges of attempted murder and mayhem with the specification of a hate crime, Zietlow-Brown was sentenced to 22 years and 4 months in prison. He apologized for his actions and was forgiven by the unnamed victim.
Zietlow-Brown had been cited in multiple race-related crimes prior to his arrest, and prosecutor Kim Siegel claimed he “shows complete disregard for human safety and life.”
Defense lawyer Steven Andrade argued Zietlow-Brown had been awake for five days, high on methamphetamine, and allegedly suffered from a condition that caused impulsive behavior. He made the case that the crime was not racially motivated and said Zietlow-Brown was simply “angry and out of control.”
Whatever the cause of Zietlow-Brown's actions, he also apologized to his mother, Shelya Rosenbaum, who is Jewish and of African-American decent.
After apologizing to his mother, Zietlow-Brown told the victim, “We have more in common than we don’t.”
After Zietlow-Brown was sentenced, Rosenbaum said she and her husband tried to help their son. They sent him to boot camp and therapy, but he struggled with addiction. She apologized for her son’s actions and hugged the victim.
The victim told the court he was ready to “end this chapter of his life.” Addressing Zietlow-Brown, the victim said, “I forgive you, bro.” In response, Zietlow-Brown turned away with tears in his eyes.