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Defendant: Epithets, attack on gay man wasn’t hate crime

WOODLAND, Calif., May 22 (UPI) — A California defendant in a hearing on an assault charge said the words he hurled at the gay man he allegedly beat up did not make the beating a hate crime.

The Yolo Superior Court judge in Woodland did not agree, as Clayton Garzon, 20, of Davis will face trial on both assault and hate crime allegations in his alleged attack on Lawrence “Mikey” Partida, 33, of Davis, the Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday.

Garzon faces three felony assault charges and hate-crime enhancements in the attack on Partida. He is also accused of committing the crime while on bail for another assault charge.

Partida, a slight, 125-pound man, was severely beaten March 10 and suffered a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain, a bruised face, and underwent surgery to remove wood embedded behind his eye, as he was impaled on post fence, the Bee reported.

Garzon’s lawyer, Linda Parisi, argued Garzon was interested in a woman with whom Partida left a party, and attacked Partida out of jealousy rather than because Partida was easily identifiable as gay.

The judge, however, repeated Garzon’s alleged slurs during the beating, said there was enough evidence to have Garzon answer to hate-crime charges and set arraignment for June 7.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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