John M. Becker

Slap on Wrist for Dallas Airport Gay-Basher

Filed By John M. Becker | January 15, 2015 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: airport, beating, Dallas, homophobic people, redneck, Texas, Uhmurrika, violence

mccleish-benham-smirk.jpgMcCleish Christmas Benham -- the twenty-something drunk redneck bigot from Shelbyville, Tennessee who verbally and physically assaulted a man he believed to be gay at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in October (because America!) -- will pay a paltry $474 in fines for the violent attack, Towleroad's John Wright reports:

Benham was charged with public intoxication and simple assault, both class-C misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum $500 fine, but no jail time. The case was referred to the Municipal Court in the city of Grapevine, Texas.

Cindy Eteaki, court manager for the city of Grapevine, told Towleroad on Wednesday that Benham posted a cash bond to get out of jail and entered a conditional plea of no contest at the time. Because Benham failed to appear in court, his bond will be forfeited and he will be convicted on both counts, Eteaki said. Benham's bond was $262 dollars on the assault charge and $212 on the public intoxication, for a total of $474.

According to a previous report from Wright, prosecutors had the option of charging Benham under Texas's hate crimes law, which would have enhanced the assault charge to a class-B misdemeanor, punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine per offense. Another report quotes a gay criminal defense attorney and former police officer as saying Benham could have been charged with class-A misdemeanor assault, which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.

But authorities clearly chose not to do so, and Benham will get off with little more than a slap on the wrist.

Video of the assault is after the break.

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