Covering Louisiana

Jul 13, 2013 2:03 PM by katc

DA decides against hate crime in beating

A Louisiana prosecutor says he won't pursue hate crime charges against a black man accused of beating a white man and telling the victim he was in "the wrong neighborhood."

The Advocate reports that Donald Ray Dickerson is charged with assaulting the man at a Baton Rouge gas station in May.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore says he'll prosecute Dickerson as a habitual offender, instead of hate crime charges.

Moore says Dickerson faces a longer sentence - life - under the habitual offender law and the victim supported his decision.

Dickerson had recently been released from prison at the time of the attack. He was previously convicted of purse snatching, carnal knowledge of a juvenile and armed robbery.

Online jail records didn't list an attorney's name.

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