A lesbian who was horribly beaten by her girlfriend's brother on Thanksgiving day says the beating was not a hate crime.
Mallory Owens, 23, of Mobile, Alabama, was beaten unconscious by Travis Hawkins, 18, while eating Thanksgiving dinner with her girlfriend's family.
Mallory's mother, Kristi Taylor, initially told news reporters that Hawkins beat her daughter because he didn't approve of her relationship with his sister.
"He tried to kill her. He's lucky he didn't kill her. She's lucky to be alive," Taylor told WKRG-TV. "I didn't recognize her when I got here. It's hard to look at her like that."
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Hawkins was arrested Sunday and charged with second-degree assault, and later released on bond. Hawkins' lawyer says his client had to go into hiding after receiving multiple death threats.
"People have taken this and overreacted, and made it something that it's not," James Byrd told WKRG-TV.
Owens, who woke up 3 days after she was hospitalized, and her girlfriend, Alex Hawkins, says the horrific beating was not a hate crime.
"It's not a hate crime at all," said Hawkins. "We both know the reason why this happened, and it doesn't make any excuses for him, I'm not defending him at all. I know why he was angry, and that will come out."
Owens refuses to reveal what really happened before the fight, but she almost seemed to forgive Hawkins.
"A lot of things have happened between us, but it doesn't make me hate her brother," Owens told WKRG-TV on Tuesday. "I don't hate her family at all, or anybody for that matter."
Owens, who assumes the male role in the relationship, returned to her girlfriend's home after her release from the hospital.
Alabama is one of 26 states without a sexual orientation hate crime law on the books.
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