Washington state man sentenced for anti-gay slurs

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2015 9:24 PM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Washington state man who yelled anti-gay slurs and threatened to stab three men in a Seattle neighborhood with a sizable gay community has been sentenced to 30 months in prison, the Justice Department said on Monday.

Troy Deacon Burns, a 38-year-old from Bremerton, Washington, pleaded guilty on Aug. 5, admitting in a plea deal that he attacked three gay men who were walking in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the department said.

During the plea hearing, Burns said he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the assault and claimed that he did not remember his actions, the department said.

An attorney for Burns could not immediately be reached for comment.

He was charged in August under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Justice Department said.

Burns, holding a knife raised over his head in a stabbing position, approached the men just after midnight and yelled homophobic slurs.

The men ran, but Burns caught up to one and again used a gay slur and threatened to stab him. As the second man helped the first away, their friend found Seattle police officers, who arrested Burns, the department said.

While inside the police vehicle, an agitated Burns yelled out "faggots," according to the criminal complaint filed earlier this month.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Sandra Maler)