Man accused of beating family could get life sentence
BATON ROUGE- A man accused of beating a family at a gas station could face a life sentence if he's convicted.
Donald Dickerson was arrested in May for second-degree battery after police said he attacked a family of three at a gas station on Scenic Highway.
Initial reports showed the victims claimed the man told them they were "in the wrong neighborhood" before the beating, prompting some to call for a hate crime charge.
District Attorney Hillar Moore said on Friday that his office would not pursue the hate crime charge, instead trying for a habitual offender charge that could land the man in prison for the rest of his life.
"I'm only allowed to use one enhancement, and should this gentleman, who's presumed innocent, be convicted, we're gonna seek the habitual offender bill against him and there's only one sentence, should he be convicted and that's life in prison," said Moore.
Dickerson was convicted of purse snatching in 1989 and armed robbery in 1991. If convicted in the gas station attack, he would be eligible for the habitual offender bill.
Dickerson was also convicted of carnal knowledge of a juvenile and unlawful transportation of a firearm.