4 people arrested in connection with a homophobic attack in Texas

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Four men have been arrested over a suspected homophobic attack on a gay couple Spencer Deehring and Tristan Perry in Austin, Texas, on January 18th. The victims required hospitalization. Frank Macias and Miguel Macias, who are brothers, were arrested over the attack alongside Quinn O’Connor and Kolby Monnell between February 11-12, charged with aggravated assault and set free on bail according to the reports from local media. Fox 4 reports that Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore intends to seek hate crime charges against the group of men, raising the charges against them to first-degree felonies that are likely to carry a lengthy sentence, but the definition of hate crimes in a Penal Code of Texas is too controversial to make it possible.“The challenge is the way this is drafted, we have to prove an additional element of the offence and if you don’t have strong evidence it often isn’t worth it to allege the hate crime,” Moore said, “You want to make your case [to] get the guilty verdict, not just an enhancement on punishment. So it makes it harder in the state of Texas.”

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