Updated: Thursday, 12 Mar 2009, 11:03 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 12 Mar 2009, 11:03 AM EDT
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - A trial has begun for one of the men stabbed in a fight at the
University of Massachusetts in Amherst last year.
John Bowes, of Hancock, N.H., was in Eastern Hampshire District Court on Thursday to face a charge of disorderly conduct and a civil rights violation.
The 21-year-old allegedly was involved in a fight in Jason Vassell's dorm in February 2008. Prosecutors say Bowes used racial slurs against Vassell, who is black, before the UMass student stabbed Bowes and another man.
Vassell's attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the charges of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against him. They claim prosecutors have treated Vassell harshly because he is black and treated Bowes and the other man leniently because they are white.