Hawaii man wears blackface, goes on strange rant before sentenced to life in prison for road rage attack

A sentencing hearing for a man in Hawaii convicted of stabbing three people in a road rage attack took a shocking turn Monday when the man showed up to court in blackface and went on a bizarre rant that drew scorn from the judge. 

Mark Char, 60, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for second-degree attempted murder, plus six years in prison on convictions of second- and third-degree assault stemming from a 2016 attack on the H-1 freeway.

But when Char appeared in a Honolulu courtroom Monday, the 60-year-old stunned his attorney and the judge when he arrived with his face and head blackened. He then went on a rant during which he blamed the victims and explained his decision to wear blackface as playing "my part in your kangaroo court."

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"This kangaroo court is giving me a life sentence for me trying to protect and defend myself against the attack from three guys, in essence, treating me like a black man," he told the court.

In this Monday, July 1, 2019, photo, Mark Char appears in court, in Honolulu, with his face painted black.

In this Monday, July 1, 2019, photo, Mark Char appears in court, in Honolulu, with his face painted black. (Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

Char -- who is not black -- then drew a sharp rebuke from Judge Todd Eddins.

“This continues a pattern of disruptive behavior designed to undermine the administration of justice,” Eddins said.

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The judge then had harsher words for Char after he was sentenced, according to KITV.

"What you need to do is look in the mirror. And if you look in the mirror, Mr. Char, you're not gonna see a black person. You're gonna see a menace," Eddins said. "You're gonna see a menace to society."

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety told Hawaii News Now that Char used a black permanent marker to color his face. Staff members had tried to “attempted to convince him to wash his face” before appearing in court, but the 60-year-old refused.

"And if you look in the mirror, Mr. Char, you're not gonna see a black person. You're gonna see a menace. You're gonna see a menace to society."

— Judge Todd Eddins

A spokeswoman from the television station that besides his life sentence, Char is facing further punishment for his stunt in court that could include confinement or loss or other privileges.

“He will be charged with disobeying several direct orders,” a spokeswoman told Hawaii News Now.

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A lawyer who withdrew as Char's defender after the hearing said it was Char's choice to appear with his face and head blackened. Char had claimed he acted in self-defense while stabbing three people in the August 2016 incident.

The judge also ordered Char to pay $16,674 in restitution for a driver's lost wages and a passenger's medical bills.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.