A jury found a 19-year-old guilty Wednesday in an antigay beating of a fellow Morehouse College student in a dorm shower but acquitted him of violating Georgia's new hate-crime law. Aaron Price, who said he thought Gregory Love was making a sexual advance by looking into his shower stall, was sentenced to 10 years for aggravated battery and aggravated assault. He faced up to 40 years in prison.
"I apologize to the court, to you [the judge], and Mr. Love," Price said. His attorney said he would appeal.
It was the state's first trial under the hate-crime law. A hate-crime conviction could have added five years to Price's sentence. Love testified that Price yelled antigay slurs during the incident, in which Price beat him with a baseball bat. Love, who said he is not gay, said he looked in Price's shower stall only because he didn't have his glasses on and mistook Price for his roommate. Price denied voicing any slurs and said he retrieved the bat to defend himself because Love is nearly a foot taller than he is. Price said he didn't swing until Love hit him. Love suffered a fractured skull.