A Detroit man pleaded guilty to a hate crime in federal court today, admitting he assaulted a customer at a convenience store because he believed the man was gay. On March 7, 2011, Everett Dwayne Avery, 36, struck the victim in the face, fracturing his eye socket and causing other facial injuries, he said in the pleading. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced in November. According to Avery’s plea agreement, the incident occurred at 9 p.m. at a BP gas station store in Detroit. Justin Alesna, who spoke to the Free Press after the assault, went to the BP to buy cigarettes and was standing in line behind Avery. Avery used an anti-gay slur and told him to move back because he believed Alesna was gay, the plea deal stated. Avery hurled profanities and other anti-gay slurs before punching Alesna in the face, the document stated. The two had never met before, and Avery knew nothing about the victim except that he assumed Alesna was gay, the document indicated.
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