Third Man Charged in Attack on Asian migrant Workers

By Beacon Staff

A third man implicated in a weekend attack on migrant workers that authorities say was racially motivated has been charged with committing hate crimes.

Karl Trent, 46, was charged with felony malicious intimidation for the Saturday attack on a group of Asian mushroom pickers at a campground in Marion. Also charged were Edward L. Hubbs, 26, and Daniel J. Devine, 25, both of Marion.

Flathead County Sheriff Mike Meehan said the three men went to the campsite Saturday night and allegedly hurled racial slurs and beer bottles at the mushroom pickers. Meehan said Hubbs fired several rounds from a rifle into the air to intimidate the migrants.

The alleged attack at the campground followed a confrontation at a convenience store that involved Hubbs, Devine and the migrants, Meehan said. The men, who are white, are accused of brandishing a baseball bat and tire iron while using racial slurs during the incident.

But Hubbs’ attorney, Lane K. Bennett, said the mushroom pickers were waiting for his client outside the store because they thought he had said something disrespectful when he asked if they were waiting in line.

“I think this is the furthest thing from a hate crime,” he said. “There’s a lot of evidence out there that has not been investigated yet, and the initial reports we believe are not accurate.”