LAFAYETTE — "No one deserves to be targeted for who they are. I think Holden deserves justice. Cops need to push for this to be a hate crime" Jeanne Menard, a friend of Holden White said.
Friends and family say the victim in a weekend stabbing was targeted for being gay. Now, they want the charges upgraded to reflect that.
Holden White was found in a Lafayette Parish home over the weekend, with his neck and wrists slit. Family members tell KATC he is off a ventilator, but remains in the ICU.
The suspect in the case, Chance Seneca, is facing attempted second degree murder charges, but White's friends and family say he should be charged with a hate crime.
Jeanne Menard is close friends with Holden White.
"I was shocked, and I was really hurt by it," Menard said.
She believes Seneca had a plan.
"You can't just ask someone to come over then hurt them. You have to make a plan, especially for something that vile to happen," Menard said.
The Associated Press reports White and Seneca met on Grindr, a dating app for gay, bisexual, and transgender men.
"This to me reeks of a hate crime, this reeks of the issue with Matthew Shepard where he got lured away from a bar, then tied to a pole after being beaten," Matthew Humphrey said.
Humphrey is President of Lafayette's PFLAG, an advocacy group for the LGBTQ+ community.
"This doesn't just happen over a verbal altercation, this was hours of intentional, brutal, what do you even call it? He's a monster, he tried to slaughter a young man," Humphrey said.
According to the U.S Department of Justice, a hate crime is a crime motivated by bias against several classifications, including sexual orientation. A spokesperson for the Lafayette Police Department says detectives have not found any evidence so far that indicates this is a hate crime.
"It's very possible that the conversations that happened the week before they met, maybe it convinced the police this isn't a hate crime. But I hope they really dig, which I'm sure they are," Humphrey said.
For now, Menard and Humphrey hope White gets justice.
"I want to see Holden completely recover, and I want to see this guy go to jail for the rest of his life, if you want me to be honest," Menard said.
The Lafayette Police Department confirms the investigation is still underway. We also reached out to the DA's office about the charges and are still waiting to hear back.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Holden White.
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