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Victim allegedly beaten because of sexuality

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (www.sdgln.com)
Burke Burnett

RENO - Three people have been arrested in what Lamar County authorities are investigating as a possible hate crime.

The Sunday morning incident in Reno left 25-year-old Burke Burnett badly injured after he was reportedly stabbed several times with a broken bottle before he was thrown into a lit burn barrel.  

Burnett, who is gay, told the Dallas Voice that his attackers were yelling gay slurs. The newspaper reports that Burnett said it took 30 stitches to close stab wounds to his back and forearm, as well as a cut above his left eye. He also sustained second-degree burns and severe bruises. Burnett was treated at a hospital in Sulphur Springs.

33-year-old Daniel Shawn Martin, 31-year-old James Mitchell Laster and 25-year-old Mickey Joe Smith have each been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.


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