Arizona: Man jailed for homophobic attack on Phoenix City Council candidate

April 1, 2013
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A man in Arizona has been jailed for two and a half years for attacking a political candidate in a homophobic assault.

Phoenix City Council Candidate Austin Head was left with head injuries after he was assaulted on 9 November 2012 by Ernie Barnes.

Prosecutors proved that Barnes and his brother, Jermon, 22, used anti-gay slurs prior and during the attack.

Mr Head was unconscious when paramedics arrived, according to court documents, and awoke in the emergency department with multiple injuries.

“A lot of people don’t think that he got enough, but it’s really understanding what the sentences would have been otherwise,” said Mr Head.

“We believe this sentence reflects the nature and degree of the defendant’s conduct in this crime,” said Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

“Someone’s presumed sexual orientation is no justification or excuse for acts of violence.”

Last month, Jermon Barnes received a 6 month sentence for his role in the assault and was placed on intensive probation for three years.

More: anti-gay assault, anti-gay attack, anti-gay crime, Arizona, homophobic attack, Phoenix

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