Man pleads not guilty to attempted murder

Crime may have been racially motivated

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver man pleaded not guilty Thursday to an attempted murder charge stemming from an allegedly racially motivated attack in the Rose Village neighborhood.

Zachery L. Hotchkins, 23, entered a plea of not guilty in Clark County Superior Court to second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and malicious harassment, a hate crime.

Judge Daniel Stahnke scheduled Hotchkins’ trial for July 2.

All three charges carry firearm enhancements, which will increase his prison time should Hotchkins be convicted.

Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino said he did not file charges against Hotchkins’ alleged accomplice, Robert E. Mitchell IV, 18, of Vancouver because of a need for further investigation.

Hotchkins is accused of attempting to shoot Matthew Boorujy, 30, early on April 6 and then beating him with the butt of the weapon when it wouldn’t fire. Hotchkins is black; Boorujy is white.

Gasperino said Boorujy was called a “cracker” multiple times during the assault. That’s a racial slur referring to a white person.

He received stitches and staples on his face and head, and has blurred vision in his left eye from his injuries, Vancouver police Officer Tom Topaum wrote in a court affidavit.

Hotchkins remains in the Clark County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Boorujy was walking his dog at about 4 a.m. in the 1800 block of East 32nd Street, near Washington Elementary School, when he was attacked, according to court records.

During an interview with Topaum, Hotchkins allegedly confessed to pointing a loaded gun at Boorujy and pulling the trigger.