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71-Year-Old Woman Faces Anti-Gay Hate Crime Charge

71-Year-Old Woman Faces Anti-Gay Hate Crime Charge

 

A 71-year-old Texan woman has been charged with an alleged hate crime after reportedly beating and attempting to choke her 25-year-old gay neighbor.

Wanda Derby of Richland Hills is reported to have attacked Lloyd Guerrero with her walking cane, beating him with it and then attempting to choke him when he came over to help her son move in with him.

Reports Dallas Voice:

“I guess she got enraged and she just started whooping him with a cane,” [Detective Tye Bell with Richland Hills police] said.

Bell said the man suffered bruises to his body and neck but was treated at the scene by Richland Hills police.

[...]

She … called the man “faggot” several times when talking to police and told them that he had AIDS and would give it to her son, Bell said.

“Her statements were very biased toward sexual preference and that gave us the probable cause to file that as a hate crime,” Bell said.

It is also reported that Derby hit Guerrero’s mother when she attempted to phone the police.

Derby is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — enhanced as a hate crime — and is also charged with assault causing bodily injury. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon carries a maximum 20-year prison term in Texas but enhanced as a hate crime the possible sentence increases to life behind bars.

As to how Derby was able to assault a 25 year-old man, Guerrero said that when faced with Derby’s attack he did not want to fight back against her because she is 71 and he did not want to harm her.

Derby, according to her Facebook wall, suffered a stroke at the beginning of March that left her feeling “weak,” though it would seem she has made a decent physical recovery since then.

Guerrero says that this attack was the culmination of weeks of hostility and that it has had wider repercussions than just this one event.

Reports NBC:

Guerrero said Derby has repeatedly called him a slur referring to his sexual orientation.

“I was very offended,” he said. “You just don’t go around calling people names because. It’s just not normal.”

He also said she posted messages about him online.

“She put on Facebook that I had AIDS and that I was going to die soon from AIDS anyway,” he said.

His friends saw the postings and he said he’s had to reassure them he doesn’t have the disease.

As touched on above, the attack was apparently triggered by the fact that Derby’s son is moving in with Guerrero, though it should be noted that the exact nature of their relationship has not been reported on at this time.

Regardless, it appears her son’s moving in with Guerrero was enough to cause a serious rift.

Derby reportedly wrote on her Facebook wall just hours before the alleged attack:

“My son Steven is no longer my son. He has sided with the idiots next door to me and I guess he [thinks] they will take care of him. He will never get another thing from me or his dad. We have washed our hands of him.”

According to reports Derby has now been released from jail on a $11,500 bond.

You can see a video interview with Guerrero here.

 

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Image used under the stock.xchng photo license with thanks to pennywise.

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78 comments

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3:13PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Throw away the key! Don't care about her age. She should not have gotten out on a low bail of $11,500 for such a heinous crime. I feel sorry for her son to have such a bigot for a mother.

6:06PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

poor kid.. what a terrible mom. Hope she gets a bad punishment....

1:32PM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Put her in prison! Has she even been arrested? I don't care how old she is! There's no excuse.

10:00AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

I think the sentence for a hate crime is a little extreme. The woman should be charged with assault. I think counseling would be a good idea as well.

5:04PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Since this occurred in Texas, I'll be surprised if they don't give the hateful old homophobe an award instead of a prison sentence. Mentally ill or not, if she knows enough not to crap in her pants then she knows violently attacking someone who is not attacking her is wrong. She deserves to be thrown in jail although I'm sure she will still believe she was justified despite time in jail to think on her actions. So much for "turn the other cheek" or "hate the sin not the sinner" crap xtians spin.

7:01PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

What a wretched old hag.

7:57AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

wow.

3:36PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Wanda Derby- just hurry up & die, you worthless old cow. the world will be better off without homophobic scum like you.

11:19AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Good for Texas! These are the indigents that need to spend life behind bars! I retract my statement about people such as this woman not being allowed to procreate because obviously her son even though raised in a biased environment was able to get out from under her hate and be able to think for himself. This story is filled with hate and hopefully it will see justice in the end. This kind of abuse would not be tolerated against any other individual therefore it should not be tolerated against this young man either. I do have to wonder though if this kind of hate crime would be getting attention if the civil rights movement for the LGBT community was not happening around the globe right now.

9:35AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

This story just goes to show you that "with age comes wisdom" isn't always true.

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