Suspended sophomore receives maximum sentence for hate-crime stabbing

Nathan Poffenbarger, a suspended School of Industrial and Labor Relations sophomore who stabbed a visiting Union College student in February 2006 on West Campus, received the maximum sentence for his crime Jan. 22 in Tompkins County Court.

Following statements in court by both Poffenbarger, of Woodsboro, Md., and the victim, Charles Holiday, of Brooklyn, N.Y., county judge John Rowley sentenced Poffenbarger to one and one-third years to four years in state prison.

In November, Poffenbarger had pleaded guilty to assault as a hate crime in connection with the incident, in which he used racial slurs before stabbing Holiday. Poffenbarger had also entered a guilty plea on one count of tampering with physical evidence.

Poffenbarger was originally indicted by a grand jury on one count of first-degree assault as a hate crime, three counts of second-degree assault as a hate crime, and one count of tampering with physical evidence.

Holiday has since recovered from a chest wound and punctured lung.

The tampering with evidence charge stemmed from Poffenbarger's burning of a blood-stained fragment of clothing shortly after the incident.

Poffenbarger remains suspended from Cornell and awaits a campus judicial system hearing.

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