The four Houston men accused of beating a Black man because he was Black was in federal court for their first appearance Thursday morning.
Charles Cannon, Brian Kerstetter, Michael McLaughlin, and Joseph Staggs were all charged with a federal hate crime.
Prosecutors say they attacked Yondell Johnson last year in downtown Houston.
Johnson told investigators the men called him the n-word several times during the alleged assault.
When those men appeared in federal court on the charges they all said they were broke.
That meant they can not afford to hire an attorney to represent them on the hate crime charges that could land them in prison for a long time.
The federal magistrate appointed attorneys for all of them.
I also noticed something different about the men who have been in jail since August.
All of them now have heads full of hair when they were waiting in the courthouse for their hearing.
In their booking photos from last August many of them were clean shaven or close to being completely bald.
Jail has taken a toll on the look they were all initially trying to achieve.
Cannon, Kerstetter, McLaughlin, and Staggs are expected back in fed court next week for their official arraignment with their court appointed attorneys by their side!