The three attackers Daniel Martin (33), James Lester (31) and Mickey Joe Smith (25) have been arrested in relation to the heinous attack on 26 years old Burke Burnett in Lamar County, Reno, Texas.
The charges are 2nd degree felonies, which is punishable upto 20 years in prison. The Lamar County Sheriff told LGBTQ Nation that a county grand jury will decide if it was a hate crime. Under Texas statute, hate crime prosecution will put the charges to 1st degree felony which is punishable with upto 99 years of prison time.
A detailed report can be found in the LGBTQ Nation’s blog post.
The District Attorney Mr. Gary Young refused to divulge any more information on how the investigation was proceeding.
Although I am sick and tired of reporting these hate crimes, I am compelled to do so as this happened in a small town Paris in Reno, Texas. And I am afraid that this heinous crime might get downplayed by the authorities in the very redneck part of United States. If even 5 people read this, thats 5 more people who would know what happened.
Burke Burnett, a 26 year old gay man was stabbed with broken beer-bottles, beaten up and then thrown onto a burning barrel. He was at a straight friends house party. The attackers yelled anti-gay slurs while assaulting him like “pussy-ass faggot,” “gay bitch” and “cock-sucking punk”.
Mr. Burnett’s girl-friends managed to break-up the fight (if you can call 4 men beating up 1 man a fight) and took him to a hospital while the other party goers just stood there and watched and did not come to help.
Although Mr. Burnett knows all of his attackers and one of them personally, no arrests have been made after one week. Although the investigating officer told Mr. Burnett that this would be classified under hate-crime, there are rumours that the police is planning to downgrade the crime to a misdemeanor as it happened in a party.
For full details and more pics you can check the Dallasvoice.com
As a footnote, Texas is the land of Gov. Rick Perry who is famous for being a homophobe and scarily enough is running for president.
The district attorney‘s number for Lamar County, in Reno, Texas is 1-903-737-2458. Please call and demand a thorough investigation.