US: Army veteran avoids prison sentence after brutal attack on gay couple
An Army veteran who beat a gay couple at a Pride parade in Austin, Texas will not face a prison sentence.
Lambert Borgardt was sentenced this week over a 2012 attack on Andrew Oppleman and Nick Soret. Mr Oppleman lost five teeth in the attack, while Mr Soret was left with a fractured nose.
The men were targeted by Borgardt during the city’s Pride parade – but KXAN reports a grand jury declined to charge him with a hate crime. He instead pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault.
A judge sentenced Borgardt to 10 years deferred adjudication (probation), with 200 hours of community service – but he will serve no prison time unless he re-offends.
The 30-year-old had apologised to his victims, saying: “I apologize from the bottom of my heart, and I’ll do whatever it takes, whatever I can, whatever can work to pay you guys back for that.”
However, Mr Oppleman said: “I feel like it was an apology for the situation he’s in rather than a direct apology for what he did and why he did it.”
Borgardt’s attorney Bill Hines said: “We’re pleased that the judge did the difficult work of balancing the really serious injuries with the incredible lifetime of honour and service [Borgardt] had in the military.”
There is still a charge pending against Borgardt, who could see his sentence increased over the attack.