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Sailors Avoid Second Trial, Admit Assaulting Gay Men

Instead of facing a second trial on hate crime charges, two sailors pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting homosexual men in a gay bar and depriving them of their civil rights.

Todd Dabrieo, 21, pleaded guilty to assaulting a customer at a Point Loma bar called the Hole on July 1 and admitted that the assault took place because the victim was homosexual.

Murry Murphy, 19, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor battery charges against another customer and a misdemeanor hate crime charge involving the man.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Richard Murphy, who is not related to defendant Murphy, scheduled sentencing for Dec. 17.

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Dabrieo could be sentenced to a year in County Jail and Murphy to up to six months in jail. Both also could be fined.

A jury deadlocked Oct. 29 on 14 of the 16 counts against both sailors, including the hate crime charges.

The jury did find Dabrieo guilty of misdemeanor battery on two patrons, but deadlocked, 8 to 4, on whether the offense was a hate crime. The trial was the first local hate crime case involving offenses against homosexuals that went before a jury.

One patron’s jaw was broken with a bottle, and two others were beaten with pool cues. Another customer said he was hit with a brick.

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