By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com February 04 2003 1:00 AM ET
Three men accused of the September baseball bat attack on a gay actor in West Hollywood, Calif., pleaded innocent Friday to an additional and more serious charge of aggravated mayhem, authorities said. Larry Walker, 29; his brother, Vincent Dotson, 18; and Torwin Sessions, 19, will stand trial on felony charges of assault, robbery, and conspiracy. Dotson and Sessions are also charged with unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle. The charge of aggravated mayhem means the three men could face life in prison without parole, the district attorney's office said. Dotson and Walker will return to court on March 6 for a pretrial hearing. Sessions is due in court February 6.
Prosecutors said the aggravated mayhem charge is based on evidence and testimony given by the victim, Trev Broudy, 34, during a preliminary hearing in January.
Broudy was in a coma after the attack and was hospitalized for about 10 weeks. He testified that he has lost half of his vision since the attack and has trouble hearing. His friend Edward Ulett testified that the men also came after him. He identified Sessions as the person swinging the bat. The case became a rallying point in West Hollywood, a town known for its acceptance of gays, after Los Angeles County district attorney Steve Cooley decided not to file hate-crime charges. Prosecutors have said investigators determined that the motive for the attack was robbery and not the victim's sexual orientation.