Weatherford Democrat

December 14, 2013

Beating of gay man leads to grand jury indictment


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE

A Parker County grand jury last week indicted a Springtown man accused of brutally beating a gay man on Labor Day, leaving the victim with multiple head fractures.

Brice Alexaxon Johnson, 19, who has been in the Parker County Jail since Sept. 10, was indicted on a second-degree felony charge of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.

Springtown police say Johnson severely injured 24-year-old Arron Keahey, who reportedly went to meet him at Johnson’s home after the two became aquainted on a social networking app.

Johnson initially told police that he heard a car alarm going off outside his house and found Keahey in the injured man’s car trunk, with another vehicle leaving the scene.

Later, he admitted to making the story up and claimed that the men were outside talking when Keahey made an unwanted advance, according to Springtown police. Johnson reportedly admitted to hitting Keahey, blacking out and waking up to find Keahey lying on the ground.

Johnson said he initially believed he had killed Keahey and transported him to a friend’s house for help, where he was told to bring the man to a LifeCare station.

LifeCare medics were reportedly initially concerned the man’s injuries were life-threatening.

Keahey, who said he did not remember many details of the attack, reportedly gave a different account than Johnson about why they were meeting.

Johnson, who said he is not gay, reportedly told police that Keahey “kind of came off” as homosexual but that he didn’t take it literally.

“I asked [Johnson] if there was anything during their online chat that would lead Arron to believe that’s what Brice was wanting him to come over for,” Springtown Police Lt. Curtis Stone wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

“Brice said, ‘Yeah, there’s gonna be something on there ‘cause I was joking back and forth with him.’ Brice said that he didn’t think Arron was ‘being for real’ during their online conversation.

“Brice said, ‘There’s going to be things on there that looks like I’m being serious back with him.’”

If the state decides to seek a hate crime finding by the court, which would enhance the charge to a first degree felony, that will occur at a later time, according to Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain.

Other Dec. 5 indictments include:

• William Austin Black, driving while intoxicated, third or more offense.

• Clifton Wayne Ervin, driving while intoxicated, third or more offense.

• Clifton Wayne Ervin, assault causing bodily injury to a family member, more than twice within 12 months.

• Jose Gamaliel Martinez, tampering with a government record and fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, less than five, elderly.

• Jose Gamaliel Martinez, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

• Jennifer Lynn Snow, burglary of a habitation.

• Kenneth Baker, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Oscar Carter III, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Miguel Centeno, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Christophe Diaz, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Dewayne Dorne, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Benjamin Estrada, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Jose Jimenez, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Gilberto Manzano, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Kendric McIntire, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Rayshawn Newsome, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Micheal Nira, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Kourtney Parr, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Esparza Resendez, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.     

• Raul Romero, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Ricky Turner, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.

• Rodney Yoder, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility.