Denton County resident George Clifton Young, 26, will face trial next week on charges he allegedly assaulted a gay man in a bias crime.
Chris McKee, also a Denton resident, told police he was followed and assaulted on Dec. 3, 2005, by two men after he left a popular Fry Street hangout near the University of North Texas. He identified one of the men and reported him to police 10 days later after observing him on the street.
The case was originally dismissed by the Denton County District Attorney’s Office on Oct. 21, two days before the originally scheduled trial, because McKee’s name was misspelled on a court document.
A group of gay rights protesters held a rally on the steps of the Denton County Courthouse the day of the cancelled trial. The case was refiled, but there was no plans to try it as a hate crime.
McKee said at the time he was concerned that the district attorney’s office was not committed to prosecuting Young.
But District Attorney Paul Johnson, who took office on Jan. 1, announced several days after he was sworn in that he would be prosecuting the case as a hate crime.
Pete Webb, president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, said he plans to attend the trial.
McKee said he is hopeful that several of the people who protested with him at the Courthouse will also attend.
“This could be a precedent event,” McKee said.
The jury trial will be held in County Criminal Court No. 2 on March 8 at 10 a.m.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 2, 2007