3 Men Plead Guilty In Attacks At San Diego Gay Pride

GaySAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Three men arrested in connection with a series of beatings after a gay-pride festival in Balboa Park that prosecutors said were hate crimes pleaded guilty yesterday to criminal charges.
James Carroll, 24; Lyonn Tatum, 18; and Kenneth Lincoln, 24, admitted the crimes on the second day of a preliminary hearing in San Diego Superior Court, during which they heard testimony from three victims.
Prosecutors contended that Carroll, Tatum and a juvenile attacked the men with a baseball bat and a knife shortly after the annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Festival ended July 29.
Carroll pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault, and admitted he used a bat in the attacks. He also admitted committing a hate crime and agreed to be sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Tatum agreed to an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to assault charges, using a knife and committing a hate crime.
Lincoln, who was on parole for a domestic-violence conviction, was not accused of taking part in the attacks, but prosecutors said he shaved Tatum’s head and tattooed his arm afterward, apparently to change his appearance.
Like Carroll, Lincoln told the judge yesterday he did not agree with the prosecutor’s version of facts of the case, but felt it was in his best interest to take advantage of the plea bargain.
He pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and will likely be sentenced to 32 months in prison.
Judge Frederick Maguire is scheduled to sentence the men Monday.
A teenage boy who also was involved in the attacks pleaded guilty Monday in Juvenile Court to three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and hate crime allegations. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 4.
Prosecutor Oscar Garcia said six men were attacked that night and that the most severely injured victim underwent reconstructive facial surgery and was recently released from a hospital.
Garcia said he did not know whether the man would appear in court Monday, but that all of the victims have been invited to attend and testify.
During the preliminary hearing, a detective told the judge that a girl said two men and a juvenile told her at a party that they were going out to rob people the night of the gay-pride festival. When they returned, the men were heard bragging about the assaults, with one saying he stabbed a man and another saying he smashed someone in the head with a bat.
The girl identified the man with the bat as Carroll and the man with the knife as Tatum, according to the testimony.
One of the victims, Paul Mullins, said he was hit twice with a baseball bat and that he saw the assailants attack two other men while shouting a gay slur. Mullins, 34, said he followed the attackers toward the festival for more than 10 minutes while talking to a 911 dispatcher.
Mullins said he saw the attackers assault a fourth man on a bench in Redwood Circle, an area where he said gay men often congregate after dark
from The San Diego Union-Tribune

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