Boerne man sentenced for hate crime in stabbing of Black fast food employee

James Kemp, 30, sentenced to 45 years in prison for 2019 attack

James Kemp was sentenced to 45 years of prison for a racially motivated stabbing.
James Kemp was sentenced to 45 years of prison for a racially motivated stabbing. (KSAT)

A Boerne man convicted of stabbing a Black Church’s Chicken employee in 2019 was sentenced to 45 years in prison Tuesday, according to the Kendall County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.

James Kemp, 30, received his sentence roughly two months after he was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and retaliation by 451st District Court Judge Kirsten Cohoon. The judge also found that the assault was motivated by Kemp’s racial bias. With that finding, prosecutors sought an enhanced punishment for Kemp.

The defendant was arrested on Jan. 5, 2019, after the manager, Ferrill Miller, asked him to leave, according to a news release. Kemp called Miller, who is Black, a racial slur before cutting his face with a knife. The cut required 16 stitches.

Kemp repeated the same racial slurs when officers were arresting him before he threatened to harm them and their family, according to the news release.

Though Kemp did have a history of mental illness, prosecutors also found that Kemp had a lengthy criminal history that included another aggravated assault conviction in Arizona.

“Kemp has been a threat to the citizens of Kendall County for years, and many other counties before that,” said Erica Matlock, Assistant Criminal District Attorney. “While we recognize the need for mental health compassion and treatment, we will not tolerate it as an excuse for violence against our citizens or our law enforcement.”

Kemp remained in Kendall County Jail as of Thursday, records showed, as he awaited to be transferred to prison.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.