Dallas Voice
April 26, 2012
Last week the second of three men charged with the brutal anti-gay attack of Burke Burnett was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Prior to sentencing, Micky Joe Smith, 25, pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, plus a hate-crime enhancement. In February, James Mitchell Laster, 32, also pleaded no contest to the same charge before being sentenced to eight years in prison. A third suspect, 33-year-old Daniel Shawn Martin of Paris, Texas was scheduled for a jury trial on April 18, but the proceeding was postponed, according to Don Haslam, Burnett's attorney. “I am grateful and comforted to hear of the sentencing of Micky Joe Smith,” Burnett said on April 18. “So many people who have endured similar experiences of hate crimes have not been afforded the opportunity to see justice served. The gay community in North Texas is a safer place today.”

In November 2011, GLAAD worked closely with Burke Burnett, the victim of a brutal anti-gay hate crime in Reno, Texas.  We helped Burke share his story with the media and secured Burke's first and only national media interview (for legal reasons) with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts.  For more on our work with Burke Burnett, please see: http://www.glaad.org/blog/glaad-works-burke-burnett-victim-brutal-attack....