Teenage gay basher to be sentenced as an adult

BY admin

December 08 2005 12:00 AM ET

A teenager who
pleaded guilty to charges in February's beating of a gay
man in Santa Fe, N.M., will be sentenced as an adult. State
district judge Michael Vigil ruled Tuesday that David
Trinidad, 17, is not amenable to treatment as a
juvenile. The judge said evaluations indicate Trinidad
has little remorse for his actions.

Trinidad pleaded
guilty in August to charges of aggravated battery,
battery, conspiracy, and criminal damage to property. He and
three other people who entered guilty pleas in
September in the attack will not be sentenced until
two remaining defendants go to trial in February.

James Maestas,
21, and Joshua Stockham, 23, were attacked in the parking
lot of a Santa Fe motel early February 27, 2005. Maestas
spent nearly a week in intensive care; Stockham
suffered minor injuries. Maestas told the court, "I'm
dealing every day of my life as a person who got beat
up because of who they are." Stockham said the attack has
affected his life "quite dramatically." He said he
doesn't go out as much, and when he does he's nervous.

Maestas and
Stockham were attacked in the parking lot after eating with
a group of friends at a nearby restaurant, according
to police, and they left the restaurant after a
group of young men became aggressive toward them.
Trinidad, a waiter who served Maestas and the others,
knew where they were going and directed his friends to the
motel.

Trinidad
apologized to the men and their families. "I shouldn't have
done what I did," he said. "I know I messed up their lives
pretty bad. I don't want to be the same person I was
before. I want to be different."

Eric Kraska, an
emergency room physician who treated Maestas at St.
Vincent Regional Medical Center, told Tuesday's hearing that
Maestas probably would have died if he hadn't gotten
treatment. Kraska said Maestas was on a respirator for
seven days, longer than he'd ever heard of for a
patient suffering from trauma.

At the time of
the attack Trinidad was on probation for raping a
4-year-old and had already spent a year at a sex offender
treatment center and seven months in outpatient
treatment, according to assistant district attorney
Heidi Zoyhofski. (AP)

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