Billie Davis charged with federal hate crime in stabbing of Asian Indiana-University student. A woman accused of repeatedly stabbing an 18 year old Indiana University student in the head for “being Chinese” has been charged with a federal hate crime, according to federal officials.
Billie Davis, 56, was previously booked on state charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery in connection with the harrowing Jan. 11 attack, which took place on a city bus in Bloomington.
Davis allegedly told police that she targeted the 18-year-old victim for her race, saying that she “would be one less person to blow up our country,” court records stated.
The college student, who is of Chinese descent, sustained seven knife wounds to the top of her head but survived.
The Justice Department announced in a press release Thursday that a federal grand jury in Evansville returned a single-count indictment charging Davis with committing a hate crime during what was described as a “racially motivated attack.”
The indictment accused Davis of lunging at the college student with a knife and inflicting injuries on her because of her race and national origin and also attempting to kill her.
The teen victim, who was not named, told police that she was waiting to get off the bus at 4:45 p.m. on Jan. 11 when a stranger with whom she had had no prior interactions stabbed her with a folding knife.
Police said that based on bus surveillance video, the attack appeared to be unprovoked.
A witness who was riding the bus followed Davis and contacted police, leading to her arrest. She was booked into the Monroe County Jail, where she was photographed smirking in her mugshot.
Davis pleaded not guilty to the state charges, and her trial is set to begin on June 20.
The woman’s attorney, Kyle Dugger, maintained that his client is mentally ill. In January, he filed a motion signaling his intention to seek an insanity defense for her.
Dugger told the Associated Press Friday that with the federal indictment, he anticipates the state charges will be dropped and that Davis will be transferred to federal custody.
“Ms. Davis has a long, documented history of severe mental illness,” he added. “She was seeking help managing her condition up to and including the day of the alleged attack.”
According to the lawyer, during Davis’ interview with the police when she confessed to her racist motive, she was “not aware why she was incarcerated,” and he said that his client was hallucinating for several days in jail.
The attorney also said that Davis was never known to be racist.
“People close to Ms. Davis neighbors, family, friends do not describe her having any known racist attitudes or history,” he said. “They don’t recall her expressing racist ideas or engaging in hate speech.”