Hughes was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and then flown by helicopter to Boise, Idaho, for emergency surgery.
As Strauss was being restrained, a worker asked him why he attacked a stranger, and Strauss responded, “Because he was Black and I don’t like Black people,” according to prosecutors.
Hughes flew to Oregon from Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday night for the sentencing and said he had never seen his attacker “because he snuck up behind me” as he sat there.
“I don’t have any enemies and for someone to just sneak up on me and try to take my life from me ... I’m angry, somebody I don’t even know,” Hughes, 49, told U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane in a Eugene courtroom.
The slashing cut his jugular vein and injured his thyroid cartilage. Hughes required months of physical therapy to regain his voice and motion in his neck and arm.
The prosecutor played segments of a police interview with Strauss after his arrest as he continued to say he targeted Hughes only because he was Black and reiterated his disdain for Black people, reciting a series of epithets.
Strauss in court acknowledged that he targeted Hughes because of the color of his skin.
“I’m extremely sorry for what I did. I wouldn’t do that in my right state of mind,” he said. “I’m happy that he survived.”
Strauss said he’s learned that he must “take his meds at all times.”