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Trial pushed back in gas station beating

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BATON ROUGE - The trial for a man accused of a racially charged beating at a gas station was pushed back to July after the man's lawyer said he has not seen all the evidence in the case.

On Mother's Day two years ago, Donald Dickerson allegedly told another man that he "stopped in the wrong neighborhood" and then beat him at the gas station near Scenic Highway and Plank Road. Dickerson now faces a second-degree battery charge.

The trial was supposed to begin Monday morning, but District Judge Lou Daniel moved the trial to July 13 and said he's not pleased with how the day turned out in court. Dickerson's defense attorney, Bernard Blair, says prosecutors failed to give him all of the evidence, but prosecutor Barry Fontenot disagrees.

"Well they believe there was some items of evidence that they didn't receive," said Fontenot. "Obviously, we have a different point of view on that. You know, I believe we have it resolved, and we're going to be ready to try this case."

After court Blair had choice words about the case.

"If he didn't have dreadlocks...if he wasn't black...he wouldn't be here today. I hate to say that, but that's the truth," he said. "Now he's done four times as much time sitting in jail, and now he's gonna have to wait until at least July to go forward with this."

The East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office is seeking to charge Dickerson as an habitual offender, which would mean a life sentence for Dickerson if he's convicted in the gas station attack. Dickerson has been convicted of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, armed robbery and purse snatching in the past.

"He's not fighting to beat a charge. He's fighting for his life, because Hillar Moore wants to put him away for basically the rest of his life based upon what he may have done in the past and that's not fair. This was just a fight," said Blair.

Judge Daniel ordered both sides to meet within the next month to go over evidence together to be on the same page for the new July trial date.



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