Prison ordered for hate crime

Race-related assault in Chico results in three-year prison sentence

A former Paradise resident convicted of a federal hate crime by a Sacramento jury in March—and who faced a maximum of 10 years behind bars—was sentenced on Thursday (Sept. 9) to three years and one month in prison.

Federal prosecutors maintain that Eric Loren Clawson, 28, uttered racial slurs just prior to his unprovoked attack on an African-American man at Riley’s Bar & Grill back in July 2008. The defendant, a mixed-martial-arts fighter, punched his victim in the face, knocking him unconscious.

Additionally, several months ago, Clawson pleaded guilty to an unrelated fraud charge tied to a real-estate scam in Chico associated with local developer Tony Symmes of Aspire Homes and a man named Garret Griffith Gililland III (See “Web of deception,” by Tom Gascoyne, CN&R July 1). Clawson was ordered to pay nearly $93,000 in restitution for that crime.