LONG BEACH -- Two defendants accused of attacking two gay men at the Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach last Halloween pleaded no contest to felony criminal charges Thursday, April 5, as their case was about to go totrial, the district attorney's office announced.
Although both defendants received state prison terms, one of the defendants will serve his sentence in LosAngeles County Jail.
Deputy District Attorney RobertHight said Marquise Lucas, 19, and Sierus Dunbar, 28, both pleaded no contestto one count each of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.Lucas also admitted a hate crime allegation and a great bodily injury allegation. Long Beach Superior Court Judge Gary Ferrari sentenced him to sixyears in state prison.
Dunbar, who admitted to a priorfelony grand theft conviction, was sentenced to four years in prison, but theterm will be served in a county jail.
On Oct. 31, 2011, the two gay menwere leaving the Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach when they wereconfronted by the defendants. Lucas harassed the victims by using gay slurs,Hight said.
Scared by the two defendants, oneof the victims tried to take a picture on his cell phone of Lucas and Dunbar.While the victim attempted to take the picture, Lucas struck him in the face andkicked him while he was on the ground. He also stomped on the man's hand as thevictim reached out for his cell phone.
When the other victim rushed to theaid of his friend, Dunbar hit the second man,knocking him out.
Both of the victims suffered moderateinjuries. One had a cut to his left eyebrow, a bruised hip and blunt trauma tohis hand. The other victim sustained injuries to his mouth and had some damagedteeth.
Both defendants fled the scene butwere later arrested by Long Beach Police Department officers.