An update on the story of Dwan Prince, the black gay Brooklyn man left partially paralyzed after a brutal 2005 gay-bashing. The convicted assailant, Steven Pomie, faced retrial and finally admitted his guilt in a hearing today, reports Gay City News.
"You’re pleading guilty because you are guilty," said Judge John P. Walsh at a September 21 hearing held in Brooklyn criminal court. "Is that correct?" Pomie, who stood handcuffed during the proceeding, said "yes" and nodded his head. After his 2006 conviction for first-degree assault and first-degree assault as a hate crime, Pomie said he was innocent.
In 2005, Pomie attacked Prince with two other men after Prince flirted with him. Pomie returned with one of those men to deliver a second beating, and then came back alone a third time, but was prevented by witnesses from beating Prince. As Pomie left the scene that third time he delivered a kick to Prince’s head saying, "Yo, leave it alone son, the nigger’s a faggot," witnesses said.
In 2006, Pomie was sentenced to 25 years with the requirement that he serve at least 21-and-a-half years before being eligible for parole. In 2008, a state appeals court overturned the conviction and dismissed the top charges against Pomie, saying he could be retried on the lesser charges of second-degree assault and second-degree assault as a hate crime.
Pomie faced up to 15 years if convicted at retrial. That was complicated when Prince sent Pomie a letter in which he blamed himself for the vicious beating that left him partially paralyzed and brain damaged. Prince, who is also HIV-positive, is attending a Bible study class wrote his attacker what sounds like the beginnings of an "ex-gay" testimony.
Pomie will be sentenced on October 13 to a 9-year term. GCN adds: "Pomie has been in custody since his 2005 arrest and all of that time counts toward the minimum time served. He could get his first parole hearing in roughly four years."