The Lafayette man accused of plotting to murder gay men he met online has been ordered held without bail until his federal trial.
Records indicate that Chance J. Seneca, 19, was arraigned this morning. That means he was formally notified of the charges against him, and he entered the required not-guilty plea. He was indicted last week, accused of a hate crime with the attempt to kill; possession of a firearm to further a crime of violence, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and obstruction of justice by destruction of documents.
Seneca also faces attempted murder and hate crime charges in state court.
On Monday, Seneca waived a detention hearing and the court ordered him held until trial. He requested that an attorney be appointed to represent him, and a public defender was provided. The usual evidence-related orders were issued, and the court issued the usual scheduling order, which sets deadlines for the parties to complete certain tasks and processes.
The federal indictment accuses him of using Grindr and Snapchat to lure a victim to meet him, and of using a hammer and a knife in his attempt to murder the victim and dismember him so he could use the victim's body parts as mementos or food. It also accuses him of kidnapping or trying to kidnap two other people, and of destroying information on his phone that tied him to the first victim. The indictment alleges that Seneca was motivated to kill the men because they are gay.
The case is being handled by the local U.S. Attorney's Office as well as the federal Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, records show.
Last fall, the man Seneca is accused of trying to kill, Holden White, granted KATC an interview. If you'd like to see it, click here. We reached out to him the day that Seneca was indicted last week, and he told us that Seneca "is getting what he deserves and justice will continue to be served."