Seagoville inmate gets 6 years for hate crime after assaulting gay inmate

jailcellAn inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Seagoville has been sentenced to six additional years under a federal hate crime law for assaulting a fellow gay inmate.

John Hall, 27, an Aryan Brotherhood member, had 71 months added on to his sentence Thursday by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor after he pleaded guilty to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act on Nov. 8. He will serve the added time consecutively with the sentence he is currently serving.

Hall punched, kicked and stomped on the inmate’s faces several times and used a dangerous weapon while calling him homophobic slurs on Dec. 20, 2011, because he believed he was gay or involved in a asexual relationship with another inmate, according to a White House press release.

Hall beat the inmate until he lost consciousness, fracturing his eye socket and causing multiple lacerations to his face. He also lost a tooth and fractured other teeth.

After an investigation by the Dallas FBI division, Hall pleaded guilty to the biased assault in November.

“This prosecution sends a clear message that this office, in partnership with attorneys in the department’s Civil Rights Division, will prioritize and aggressively prosecute hate crimes and others civil rights violations in North Texas,” said U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.


—  Dallasvoice

Anti-gay hate crimes doubled in Dallas in 2011; city saw highest number in TX

Dallas is the city that reported the most hate crimes in Texas based on sexual orientation bias, according to new a report released by the FBI.

Dallas reported 10 anti-gay hate crimes in 2011 Hate Crime Statistics report, which is double the number reported in 2010. It also had three hate crimes based on race, two on religion and one on ethnicity. The report only tracks hate crimes that were reported to police.

Houston had six crimes based on sexual orientation bias, four for race and three for religion, while Fort Worth came in third with four for sexual orientation, five for race, three for religion and four for ethnicity.

Dallas and Fort Worth both reported five hate crime based on sexual orientation for the FBI’s 2010 statistics. Houston topped the list that year with six.

Texas saw a jump from 39 hate crimes based on anti-gay bias in 2010 to 49 in the category in 2011. Racial hate crimes saw a decline from 85 to 56 reported crimes, while religion stayed at 19 and disability at 1. Crimes against ethnicity bias declined slightly from 30 to 27.

Nationally, there were 6,216 single‑bias incidents. Of those, 46.9 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 20.8 percent were motivated by a sexual‑orientation bias, 19.8 percent were motivated by a religious bias, 11.6 percent were motivated by an ethnicity bias and .9 percent were motivate by bias against a disability.

Hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias were up by 19.3 percent from 2010 national figures.

—  Dallasvoice

Charges dropped against gay man who claims he was fleeing hate crime

Justin York’s arm a few days after the Oct. 6 incident at Southwest Auto Tow. He said he suffered a concussion and a dislocated jaw.

Dallas police have dropped charges against a gay man who was arrested for robbery after fleeing what he alleged was an anti-gay hate crime.

Justin York was arrested Oct. 6 after he ran his vehicle into a metal gate trying to leave Southwest Auto Tow. York told Instant Tea he was trying to run from being assaulted by two men at the towing company.

Police arrested York for robbery and later changed the charges to criminal mischief because the company dropped the assault charges.

York told Instant Tea that all of the charges have now been dropped because the company’s insurance is paying for the damage to the gate.

However, York said he still plans to file a police report and press charges against the two men at the towing company, who he said assaulted him and called him anti-gay slurs, prompting him to run to his car and drive through the gate.

—  Dallasvoice

Gay Dallas man arrested for robbery says he was fleeing hate crime

Justin York’s arm a few days after the incident at Southwest Auto Tow. He said he suffered a concussion and a dislocated jaw.

A Dallas gay man claims he was the victim of a hate crime while trying to retrieve his items from a towing company on Oct. 6.

Justin York said he was moving into an apartment when his car and his friend’s car were towed in the early hours of Saturday, Oct. 6. He said his landlord hadn’t processed their vehicle information yet, so the towing was a misunderstanding.

York and his friend went to Southwest Auto Tow, at 11211 Goodnight Lane, to get items out of their cars around 5 a.m. He said he didn’t want to pay $200 to get his car back since it was towed because of a mistake by his landlord.

York said he turned on his car for heat because of the chilly weather that weekend. A few minutes later, he said he saw two men at the company pick up his friend’s car with a wrecker while the friend was still inside and begin to swing the car from side to side. York said he left his car running and ran toward the men to stop them.

He said they then punched him in the head and his friend ran off. He said one of the men sat on him while the other kicked him repeatedly and yelled anti-gay slurs and comments about gay sex. He fought back to protect himself.

“I may be gay, but I’m still a man no matter how feminine I am, so I fought back,” he said. “I literally started whooping his ass with my purse.”

—  Dallasvoice

Teens won’t face hate crime prosecution for anti-gay graffiti in Arlington

Four teens who were arrested in June for a graffiti spree in an Arlington neighborhood and painted anti-gay remarks on a lesbian couple’s SUV won’t be prosecuted for a hate crime.

Daniel Sibley, 18, John Austin Cartwright, 17, Seth Stephen Hatcher, 18, and Morgen Rae Aubuchon, 18, were indicted Sept. 25 for a state jail felony of graffiti causing $1,500 to $20,000 in damage. The fifth person believed to be involved was a 16-year-old girl. She will undergo a process for juveniles.

Kim Lovering and her partner’s vehicles had “queer and faggot” spray-painted on them alongside a decal showing two moms with a child and pet, shown above.

Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Betty Arvin, who is the prosecutor for the four adult cases, said the incident of anti-gay graffiti could have been separated and charged as a misdemeanor. But the DA’s office instead chose to combine the cases — which include 13 individual incidents involving public signs, garage doors and vehicles — to obtain a state jail felony charge.

“We felt like we would have more flexibility and more options if we aggregated the cases so that’s what we did,” Ardin said. “But for a hate crime you’ve got to prove that the people involved specifically targeted a person or their property due to together their sexual orientation or their race, and we suspect it but we can’t prove that. Well, we certainly can’t prove it on all 13. … We can’t prove it on all of them and keep it a felony.”

The punishment for a state jail felony is 180 days to two years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. Ardin said if bias could have been proven in all the cases, the hate crime enhancement would have made the cases a third-degree felony and, if convicted, the teens could’ve faced two to 10 years behind bars in addition to the fine.

The four indicted have court dates scheduled for Oct. 24, but Ardin said their cases are still being processed so she is unsure when a trial date will be set.

—  Dallasvoice

Rally for victim of anti-gay hate crime in Austin rescheduled for this weekend

A forecast of heavy rain and flooding in Austin this past weekend forced GetEQUAL TX to postpone a March Against Hate event for a victim of an anti-gay hate crime.

The event has been moved to Saturday, Oct. 6. Those who attend will still meet at Austin City Hall at 11:45 a.m. and march to the Capitol at noon, followed by remarks by several speakers.

Among those speakers will be Andrew Oppleman, a gay man who attended Austin Pride with a friend and was beaten when he tried to protect his friend from the attacker.

Speakers may be added to the schedule because of the changed date. Check here for updates.

—  Dallasvoice