One of three men accused in the robbery of a West Hollywood, Calif., man who was beaten with a baseball bat last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to mayhem and conspiracy to commit robbery. Larry Walker, 30, of south Los Angeles entered his plea on the third day of jury selection in his trial before superior court judge Richard A. Stone.
Attackers beat Trev Broudy, 34, with a wooden bat on September 1, 2002, after the openly gay model-actor had just given a male friend a farewell embrace on the sidewalk outside his home. Walker searched Broudy for money but did not participate in the beating, prosecutors said.
Broudy has said he believes he was targeted because of his sexual orientation. He was temporarily comatose after the attack and spent 10 weeks in the hospital. He still suffers from headaches and has recovered only about 50% of his vision.
The case became a rallying point in West Hollywood, a city known for its acceptance of gay people, after Los Angeles County district attorney Steve Cooley decided last year not to file hate-crimes charges. Prosecutors said investigators determined that there was no evidence of a hate crime and that the motive for the attack was robbery.
Prosecutors said Walker faces 13 years in prison as part of his plea agreement. If his case had gone to trial, he could have faced up to life in prison, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. Walker's sentencing is scheduled for Thursday.
Jury selection continues for Torwin Sessions, 20, and Vincent Dotson, 19, also of south Los Angeles. Both men have pleaded innocent to aggravated mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and unlawful driving. They remain in custody.