Drugs, Prostitution Were Reason for Thanksgiving Beating – Not a Hate Crime
Image via: WALA-TV
MOBILE, Ala. — The attorney representing Mallory Owens, the Alabama woman who claimed that she was brutally beaten by her girlfriend’s brother on Thanksgiving Day, has quit after Owens told a local television station that the statement released Friday on her behalf was mostly fiction.
Attorney Christine Hernandez said Tuesday that she was withdrawing as Owens’ counsel, and refused to disclose the specifics on why she was no longer working as her attorney.
In the interview with WALA-TV, Owens said she did not know about, nor completely agree with, claims made in a statement released on her behalf by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) last week.
In that statement, Owens said her family was being followed by her alleged attacker, Travis Hawkins Jr., and that the Hawkins family was trying to intimidate her. Now Owens says she didn’t know about the statement until after it was released:
Owens said she did not write the statement. According to Owens, much of the information is false.
“The statement was released, and I didn’t know until after it was released. I think it’s things we had talked about, but I don’t know really,” Owens said.
She said her attorney wrote the letter and she agrees with “some of it”.
Also in the interview, Owens’ girlfriend Ally Hawkins claimed her brother attacked Owens’ because of couple’s involvement in drugs and prostitution. Those claims immediately caught the attention of Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich:
“Well, we are concerned with the allegation that they were engaging in criminal activity. And if the investigation reveals that they are still engaging in criminal activity, then charges can be brought, but we have no evidence of that at this point,” said Rich.
Rich also indicated that Hawkins’ comments seemed to confirm that the brutal beating was not based on the victim’s sexual orientation and therefore was not a hate crime.
“The motive for the beating was not as a result of the relationship that was going on between the victim and the defendant’s sister. So that (interview) confirmed to us, and should confirm to everyone, that this is not a hate crime,” said Rich.
Rich told local media outlets she is still moving forward with Hawkins Jr.’s initial charge.
“We are moving forward with the assault second degree charges we are anxiously awaiting the arraignment and the preliminary hearing and taking it to a grand jury,” said Rich.
Travis Hawkins Jr. was arrested on November 25 and charged with second-degree assault in Owens’ beating, which knocked her unconscious and sent her to the hospital with skull fractures and other injuries. He has been released on bail ahead of his first court date on December 10.
A spokesperson for GLAAD declined to comment when contacted about Owens’ participation in the statement released last week.
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