Remember Bobby Singleton? He’s the Dallas area man who, with a friend, beat the crap out of a one Jimmy Dean last July during a robbery attempt, all the while screaming things like “faggot,” which left Dean (pictured, right) with a broken back, jaw, and chin. But to evade having his crime enhanced with a hate crime attachment, Singleton pretended he himself is gay — except in recorded prison phone calls, he revealed he wasn’t. Well the jury heard it all in his aggravated robbery trial, and convicted him.
There hasn’t been a sentencing yet, but Singleton faces the maximum: life in prison. While Texas doesn’t have hate crimes as a separate criminal charge, it can be used to “enhance” the charge, though prosecutors didn’t attempt it, since they were already going after the maximum punishment, and adding a hate crime charge could have meant a tougher burden of proof.
Keep in mind, a life sentence isn’t really a life sentence, and Singleton could still get out before he dies. Or, in a terrible world, he could be sentenced only to probation, the minimum. Either way, it’s a sad, terrible story, and there are no winners here.
Jurors, though, have heard through witnesses and Singleton’s own words that the attack was based on sexual orientation. Dallas police also classified the assault and robbery as a hate crime.
“We figured they would be easier targets because their [sic] are a lot of homosexuals around the area,” Singleton wrote in his confession to Dallas police, which was admitted into evidence.
In the phone call recording, Singleton and the woman laughed about how Dean’s “nose was dangling.” Singleton says he called Dean “you punk [expletive]” and stomped him two or three times.
The woman told Dean that he went too far. “You did too much,” she said. “You just went and didn’t stop.”
Also on Wednesday, Dean testified about the impact of the beating on his life. He suffered a broken back, jaw and chin in the attack. He doesn’t have a sense of smell, and the look of his face is forever changed.
Dean said that if he has to walk down the street where he was beaten, he walks down the middle of the road.