Three men accused of assaulting actor Trev Broudy on a West Hollywood street in September were ordered Friday to stand trial following a four-day preliminary hearing.
Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Richard A. Stone determined that there was enough evidence for Larry Walker, Vincent Dotson and Torwin Sessions to be held for trial in the attack on Broudy and a friend, a crime that gay rights activists argued was a hate crime. The defendants are scheduled to return to court for arraignment on Jan. 31.
They are charged with attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery. If convicted, Sessions could be sentenced to state prison for 20 years; Walker, 16 years; and Dotson, six. Sessions and Walker have prior robbery convictions.
The attack occurred Sept. 1 on Cynthia Street just after voice-over artist Broudy hugged his friend, Edward Ulett. Broudy testified that the attack left him unable to read, work or see clearly, but that he cannot remember anything about the incident. Ulett testified that a car drove by and Sessions came at them with a baseball bat.
The decision by Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley not to file the case as a hate crime drew criticism from West Hollywood city officials and gay rights activists. But prosecutors, defending their decision, said there was no evidence that the attack was motivated by the victims' sexual orientation.
In an interview with detectives, Dotson said the men were driving around West Hollywood looking for someone to rob, according to transcripts released by prosecutors Friday.
When they came upon Broudy and Ulett, Sessions jumped out with a bat, demanded money and started hitting Broudy, Dotson said.
Dotson said they decided to go to West Hollywood because there were "white people with money." He added, "It's known for ... a lot of people out here got money and stuff." Dotson said it never crossed his mind whether the two men were gay. He also said that he had "no problems with gay people."
In his interview with detectives, Walker said that when he and his friends were driving around, they saw some men standing by their car who were "hugging and kissing."
Walker said he also heard Sessions say, "Oh, they gay," and "I'm about to bust me some faggots." Dotson told police he didn't overhear that.
Walker also told detectives that Sessions was angry because he tried to rob a few people but didn't get any money.