justice

HARDCORE: It Took Just 4 Hours for Jury to Give 75 Years to Texas Gay Basher

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For attacking Jimmy Dean at gunpoint last year, and stomping him to within an inch of his life — leaving Dean with, among other things, a broken back and no sense of smell — Bobby Singleton (pictured, left) was handed a 75-year prison sentence by a jury that needed just four hours to deliberate. That’s 15 years more than even prosecutors were after, who opted not to attach a hate crime enhancement to the crime because they were already seeking a maximum sentence of a life term. Singleton will be eligible for parole in 30 years. The Dallas Morning News catches the survivor’s reaction:

Dean wiped tears from his eyes after State District Judge Ernie White read the sentence. But Singleton, who inflicted most of the damage to Dean, showed no visible reaction.

Dean said afterward that he was overwhelmed by the jury’s decision. He said he thought there might only be one juror who thought Singleton should get the 60 years prosecutors requested for aggravated robbery.

“I think it shows the jury does understand,” Dean said. “It makes the next two people who go into any neighborhood, and pick out anyone, think twice.”

He also said the verdict gives him “faith in people” and said the days are gone when criminals received a lesser sentence because the victim is gay.

“This sets a precedence for anything like this that happens,” Dean said. “Maybe this will set a standard for anybody, no matter what your sexual orientation is, a violent crime is a violent crime.”

[…] After the verdict, most jurors stood in a receiving line of sorts to hug Dean and his friends.

One woman told Dean that he needed to start living his life again. He has said he spends a lot of time in his room. He’s a musician, but he put his guitars in storage after the attack.

Dean said that he would try.