The three teenagers charged in the October beating of a gay Cleburne High student in Cleburne, Texas, pleaded innocent Thursday during their arraignment. Christopher Paul Lathers, 18, faces a felony charge of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. The second-degree felony was elevated to a
first-degree felony when the hate-crime element was added.
Lathers is accused of kicking the 17-year-old with steel-toe boots. Billy Lynn Calahan, 19, and Cory Dallas Gibson, 17, face misdemeanor charges that were elevated to Class A misdemeanors with the hate-crime element. Calahan is accused of punching, and Gibson is accused of kicking the victim, who had to have reconstructive surgery to repair broken bones in his face.
The three, who were indicted last month, will be subject to random drug tests and are prohibited from drinking alcohol, reports the Cleburne Times-Review. Cleburne school officials say Lathers attended TEAM School, the district's alternative school for students who are academically behind. Gibson and Calahan were not enrolled in Cleburne schools, they said. (AP)