VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A 34-year-old Daytona Beach man was found guilty following a jury trial of committing racially-motivated hate crimes against a New Smyrna Beach family in 2020.
Detectives arrested Kyle Christiansen in September 2020 after they determined he spray painted Asian slurs on the victims’ cars and left nails under their truck truck tires in a racial-motivated crime in July of the same year. Christiansen caused more than $5,000 in damages to the family’s vehicles, according to authorities.
Prosecutors said they determined Christiansen’s motivation was the victims’ race and familial heritage.
The Daytona-Beach News Journal reports Christiansen was a patient at the family’s dental practice.
“Bigotry exists in our communities. It is important to shine a light on it when we can so that folks can see its ugly face,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said in statement after the guilty verdict.
On Tuesday, a six-person jury deliberated for about 30 minutes before finding Christiansen guilty of two counts of criminal mischief with hate crime enhancements. He will be sentenced on July 13 and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
Christiansen was turned over to the custody of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office following the guilty verdict.