Everett Dwayne Avery has pled guilty to attacking Justin Alesna in a BP gas station in Detroit. Avery attacked Alesna, who was standing behind Avery in line, because Avery thought Alesna was standing too close to Avery. Avery is the second person to be charged under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act. With the plea deal, he will spend between twelve and eighteen months in jail and be fined $20,000.
Alesna suffered a fractured eye socket and other facial injuries.
US Attorney Barbara McQuade stated “A hate crime is different than a simple assault because it is an attack on not just one individual victim, but an attack on everyone who shares a particular characteristic. By passing this statute, Congress made it clear that an attack based on a victim’s sexual orientation will not be tolerated in America.”