The woman who stabbed an 18-year-old Asian American Indiana University student in the head with a pocketknife in January has been indicted and could face a life behind bars.
Billie R. Davis, 56, of Bloomington, Indiana, was charged with a federal hate crime by a federal grand jury at her indictment in Evansville on Thursday, the Department of Justice announced in a recent press release.
The new charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or death.
The press release noted that Davis “willfully caused bodily injury to the victim and attempted to do so using a knife, because of the victim’s race and national origin,” adding that she attempted “to kill the victim.”
Davis was also riding the bus and suddenly stabbed the student seven times with a pocketknife before fleeing the scene, according to reports.
Authorities said the student had “blood flowing from her head” when they arrived at the scene and immediately rushed her to the hospital.
While reviewing surveillance footage, the police saw no interaction between the assailant and the student prior to the attack.
A passenger who witnessed the incident reportedly followed Davis and helped authorities catch her.
Speaking to authorities, Davis admitted to the crime and said she attacked the student for being Chinese, adding that she “would be one less person to blow up our country.”
Davis was booked into Monroe County Jail and charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and battery by means of a deadly weapon.
Kyle Dugger, Davis’ defense attorney, said in a court filing that Davis was “incapable of assisting in the preparation of her defense because of mental illness.”
Also speaking to CNN, Dugger said that the woman has “a long history of severe mental illness” and was “seeking help managing her condition up to and including the day of the alleged attack.”
Davis is expected to appear in a jury trial for her charges on June 20 in Monroe County.