Man gets 2½ years for hate crime attack on 2 gay men

Man gets 2½ years for hate crime attack on 2 gay men

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Ernie Barnes; Jermon Barnes Ernie Barnes; Jermon Barnes
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PHOENIX -

A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 2 and 1/2 years in prison for committing a hate crime against two gay men in November 2012.

Valley entertainer and gay rights activist Austin Head and a friend were on their way home from a bar near Osborn and Central when they were attacked by two men.

Head says Ernie Barnes and 22-year-old Jermon Barnes spotted them and started yelling homophobic slurs at them.

Moments later, Head blacked out.

The 28-year-old was beaten so badly he ended up unconscious. Head's friend was punched in the face, but managed to call for help.

Judge Robert Gottsfield sentenced Ernie Barnes to over 2 years and ordered him to pay $8,000 in restitution.

Head didn't have insurance at the time of the assault and faces many hospital bills for his injuries.

In February, Jermon Barnes was sentenced to six months in jail and intensive probation for three years.

Follow this story: Police investigate brutal assault on gay men as a hate crime

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