article placeholder

Ala. lesbian beating victim: Attack was not ‘hate crime’

Alabama lesbian beating victim

The Alabama lesbian that was brutally beaten during a Thanksgiving dinner at her girlfriend's father's home now claims that the attack was not a hate crime.

Mallory Owens, 23, was attacked by her girlfriend's brother Travis Hawkins, Jr., Thursday, Nov. 22, at the home of her girlfriend.

Hawkins was charged with second degree assault but because Alabama does not include gender identity or sexual orientation in the state's hate crime legislation, the crime cannot be classified as a hate crime, at least not through Alabama's laws. The FBI is also investigating the attack and could still recommend that Hawkins be charged with a hate crime under existing federal laws.

article placeholder

Recent local ‘hate crimes’ show danger of incomplete information

When two lesbians told a local TV station they were attacked over Atlanta Pride weekend because they were gay, people reacted with shock and empathy.

How could something so awful happen in Atlanta, much less during Pride weekend?

But when the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department released its report on the incident that happened at about 3:30 a.m. Oct. 13 in front of the W Hotel in Midtown, it raised questions about whether the two women told the whole story when they spoke to Fox 5 reporter Kaitlyn Pratt before the report was released.

Lesbian couple Kathryn Katalinich and Brooke Creef told Fox 5 they were called an anti-gay slur and pushed to the ground by men who also laughed at them.

article placeholder

Defendants in Brandon White beating case get five years

Brandon White's attackers

Three young men who beat a gay man in southwest Atlanta while shouting “faggot” at him were sentenced July 13 to serve five years in prison with another five years on probation.

Fulton Superior Court T. Jackson Bedford sentenced Christopher Cain, 18; Dorian Moragne, 19; and Darael Williams, 17, as several loved ones of the defendants audibly cried in court. All men were already on probation for other crimes.

Another defendant, Javaris Bradford, has eluded police and a warrant is out for his arrest. FBI officials say Bradford is the one who videotaped the Feb. 4 attack that was uploaded to a hip hop website and went viral, making the beating a national story. He faces the same charges as the other three defendants: participation in criminal gang activity, robbery by force and two counts of aggravated assault.

article placeholder

Judge sentences three men in anti-gay assault to five years, calls them ‘ultimate bullies’

Three young men who beat a gay man in southwest Atlanta six months ago were sentenced to serve five years in prison with another five years on probation.

Fulton Superior Court T. Jackson Bedford sentenced Christopher Cain, 18; Dorian Moragne, 19; and Darael Williams, 17, as several loved ones of the defendants audibly cried in court. All men were already on probation for other crimes.

The Fulton DA's office had asked for 15 years for all men with Moragne to serve 10 and Cain and Williams to serve eight. The men all pleaded guilty to the brutal beating of Brandon White, 20, on Feb. 4, as he exited a convenience store in the Pittsburgh community.

"You all are the ultimate bullies," Bedford told the young men before handing down the sentence. "You didn't like the way [Brandon White] looked, dressed or conducted himself and that's nothing but being bullies."

article placeholder

Ga. state Reps. Simone Bell and Ralph Long speak out on sentencing in Atlanta anti-gay assault

State Rep. Simone Bell says she signed onto a letter that was provided by several LGBT activists to Fulton Judge Jackson Bedford during Thursday's sentencing hearing seeking leniency for two of the defendants in the anti-gay assault on Brandon White because she wants the case moved to federal court and pave the way for a state hate crime law to be passed in Georgia.

In a press statement released late Thursday, Rep. Bell said she sees the Feb. 4 attack on Brandon White, 20, an openly gay man, "centered in hate due to his sexual orientation."

Charged in the beating are Dorian Moragne, 19, and Darael Demare Williams, 17. A group of LGBT activists are asking Fulton Superior Court Judge Jackson Bedford sentence them probation rather than a lengthy prison sentence.

Christopher Cain, 18, also charged in the attack, pleaded guilty Thursday to the same charges Moragne and Williams pleaded guilty to on May 29: being part of a gang, two counts of aggravated assault, and robbery by force.

article placeholder

LGBT activists ask judge for no more jail time for Brandon White’s anti-gay attackers

A group of Atlanta LGBTQ activists wrote a letter to Fulton Superior Court Judge Jackson Bedford asking a light sentence be imposed on two young men who pleaded guilty to the Feb. 4 beating of gay man Brandon White, the GA Voice has learned.

According to the letter, the activists believe the attack was motivated by homophobia, but they do not think it will be helped by the attackers serving further time in prison.

A hearing in the case is underway now at the Fulton County Court House, with several of the activists present. Please check back for updates throughout the day.

article placeholder

Atlanta gay man’s alleged attackers could go on trial May 29

images/stories/5-25-12/brandonwhite.jpg

Editor's note: It was reported that the four suspects in this case would go on trial May 29. Yvette Jones, spokesperson for the Fulton DA's office stated the men are on the trial calendar and clarified what will happen.

"The case is being called out alongside several others. The Judge will make a determination which case will move forward and begin the process of jury selection," she said.

Four men charged in a brutal attack on a gay man in February are set to go to possibly go on trial May 29, each charged with two counts of participation in criminal street gang activity, robbery by force and aggravated assault, according to a spokesperson with the Fulton County District Attorney's office.

The men charged in the anti-gay beating of Brandon White are Javaris Bradford, 24; Christopher Cain, 19; Dorian Moragne, 19; and Darael Demare Williams, a minor.

White, 20, was attacked by the four men after he was exiting a grocery store in the Pittsburgh community in southwest Atlanta. The men filmed the attack in which White was repeatedly called "faggot" and uploaded it to a hip hop website where it went viral.

The four suspects will appear before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jackson Bedford.