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Local

Man charged with hate crime says he was assaulted in Ogle County Jail

STERLING – A Mount Morris man arrested and charged with a hate crime Wednesday has been transferred from the Ogle County Jail to the Whiteside County Jail, but authorities aren't saying why.

Justin Coltrain, 33, was charged with a hate crime and battery and was being held on $100,000 bond. Coltrain told Sauk Valley Media on Thursday that not long after he was placed in a cell with four other men in the Ogle County Jail, he was assaulted, taken to a hospital for a CT scan, then transferred to the Whiteside County Jail in Morrison.

Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn did not return multiple calls from SVM seeking comment Thursday. A call to Whiteside County Sheriff Kelly Wilhelmi also was not returned.

But a person at the Whiteside County Jail confirmed that Coltrain was brought there Wednesday evening.

Coltrain's charges resulted from an Aug. 10 fight at a party in Oregon, during which Jon Williams, 18, of Oregon, was hit and died a day later. Eight others were charged Wednesday, one of them also with three counts of a hate crime.

None of Wednesday's charges were for Williams' death.

On Wednesday, Ogle County State's Attorney Mike Rock said Coltrain and Matthew Steder, 22, were charged with hate crimes because they made racial slurs during the incident.

Coltrain, who denies that he made racial slurs, was placed in a cell in Ogle County with four black inmates, he said, after requesting he not be because of the hate crime charge.

According to Coltrain, about 5 p.m. a local TV station previewed its news broadcast and included Coltrain's arrest and charges, which initiated a confrontation and fight with the other inmates.

Coltrain sustained a black eye, several bumps on his forehead and the back of his head, bruised ribs, and had a ringing in his ears, he said. Jail personnel responded to his calls for help, he said, about a minute after the fight started.

Coltrain is due in court Monday, he said.

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