Crime | News | Texas

19-year-old Charged with Hate Crime in Brutal Labor Day Beating of Gay Texas Man

Arron keahey

19-year-old Brice Johnson [pictured below] of Springtown in north Texas has been charged with “willfully causing bodily injury to a person because of the actual or perceived sexual orientation” following the savage beating of 24-year-old Arron Keahey on Labor Day last year. WFAA reports:

Brice johnsonAccording to the criminal complaint filed last week in Fort Worth, as well as the WFAA-Channel 8 account from September, early on the morning of September 2 last year Keahey and Johnson connected via the cellphone app for, which bills itself as “the public market leader for social discovery.”

Keahey’s profile stated quite clearly that he’s gay, says the FBI, while Johnson’s page indicated he was not. Keahey would later say he thought Johnson was either gay or bisexual, according to Channel 8′s account. The FBI says Johnson gave Keahy his cell number and home address, and the two men “exchanged text messages planning their sexual activity.”

But federal authorities allege that Johnson clearly had other plans: Keahey was attacked the moment he arrived at Johnson’s house, says the FBI — beaten, bound and then put in the trunk of his own car, after which, the FBI says, Johnson drove him to a friend’s house, where occupants told Johnson to take Keahey to the hospital or else they’d call police. Johnson complied, and Keahey wound up hospitalized for 10 days at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, where doctors tended to his myriad skull and facial fractures.

The investigation also revealed that on the night of the incident, Johnson saved Keahey’s cell phone using a gay slur as a contact name. Johnson made his initial appearance in court Thursday, where he has yet to be formally indicted. If convicted of the hate crime charge, Johnson could face a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. 

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  1. If they try to use the "gay panic" defense, I'm going to scream. This guy needs to be incarcerated for this.

    Posted by: Kevin | Feb 23, 2014 2:20:17 PM

  2. Fry the f*cker!

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Feb 23, 2014 2:30:23 PM

  3. OMG this is just horrible. Be very very careful friends. Do NOT fall prey to this kind of lure. Here's hoping the criminal gets a minimum of 10 years in prison where his a** will be welcomed freely.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 23, 2014 2:34:03 PM

  4. Seems odd to wait five months.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 23, 2014 2:44:59 PM

  5. Very strange story.

    Posted by: Perry | Feb 23, 2014 2:45:10 PM

  6. Meeting strangers through apps is like dicing with death. Will gay men never learn?

    Posted by: roger | Feb 23, 2014 3:25:37 PM

  7. Meeting strangers through apps is like dicing with death. Will gay men never learn?

    Posted by: roger | Feb 23, 2014 3:26:05 PM

  8. @ROGER For some guys that's the only way they can get hooked up. They may be closeted and not know people to date/have sex with. The problem is the psychopath, not the guy who was looking for a hookup.

    Posted by: Kevin | Feb 23, 2014 3:40:52 PM

  9. @Kevin : it's OK if he uses a "gay panic" defense because that means he doesn't have any real defense at all. If I were on a jury and someone tried a "gay panic" defense (or some equally inane equivalent for a situation where the victim was not gay), my first thought would be, "Why is this bozo wasting my time by not pleading guilty or at least, no contest?"

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 23, 2014 3:44:05 PM

  10. This sentence limit cannot be correct.

    An assault of such brutality would merit more than ten years in prison; this is an aggravated assault as well as being a hate crime.

    An appropriate sentence would be 25 years in prison.He could be released when he is 44/45.

    The accused lured the injured party to a hook up, and then viciously assaulted him, thereby indicating intent.
    There is no room for ant spurious defence.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 23, 2014 4:19:17 PM

  11. I hate to say it, but the perp is kind of cute & I'll bet his fellow inmates will think so too.

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Feb 23, 2014 4:48:10 PM

  12. Gay for pay white trash

    Posted by: jarago | Feb 23, 2014 5:34:03 PM

  13. This beast from hell should be given the choice of life without parole or death. Hopefully, he would choose death. Oh, and his method of execution will be exactly like the violence he inflicted on his victim. It's time for an eye-for-an-eye in these cases.

    Posted by: BrokebackBob | Feb 23, 2014 6:00:57 PM

  14. If Brice Johnson gets let off easy, a few gay guys from Texas should hunt him down, and beat him in the head and face until he's dead. Problem solved; justice served for gays by gays.

    Posted by: HoldOnHoney | Feb 23, 2014 6:23:36 PM

  15. Only 10 years MAX for trying to kill someone? Something is wrong here, of course it's Texas so he'll probably walk.
    Although I have always thought violence never solved anything, perhaps it's time to have a little vigilante justice.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Feb 23, 2014 6:42:13 PM

  16. Strange all of the posters who love to show up when the perp is black is very silent on this one. Things that make you go HMMMMMM!

    Posted by: CHOCOLATEBEARCUB | Feb 23, 2014 11:51:41 PM

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