News :: Crime

Lawyer: Attackers Didn’t Yell Gay Slurs in Beating

by Jeff Martin
Wednesday Feb 29, 2012
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The person yelling gay slurs at a man whose beating was videotaped and posted on the Internet appears to be the person filming the assault and not one of the attackers, an attorney said Tuesday.

Attorney Jay Abt said his client, Dorian Moragne, plans to plead not guilty. He would not say whether Moragne was at the scene of the beating.

Abt also said that his client, Dorian Moragne, knew the man who was beaten and that the beating does not appear to be a hate crime.

"It appears from watching the video that the person yelling the homosexual slurs is someone who is not in the actual video, someone who is not being filmed," Abt said.

He said Moragne plans to plead not guilty to aggravated assault and robbery charges stemming from the beating. Two others also have been charged.

An attorney for the man who was beaten, Brandon White, has said White did not know his attackers. Calls to that attorney, Christine Koehler, were not immediately returned Tuesday.

"Brandon White has said that the three individuals who were charged, that he had never met them before and that’s just simply not true," Abt said.

Gay slurs are heard in the video as three men punch and kick Brandon White, and one man slams a tire on him. Advocates for gay rights groups have called for hate crime charges to be filed, and federal authorities have said they are investigating that aspect of the beating.

Georgia does not have any state hate crime laws, so any hate crime charges would have to be brought by federal authorities.

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