Jury won't seek hate crime indictment in assault

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by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and Photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 8:19 AM

AUSTIN -- Paperwork released Wednesday showed a Travis County grand jury's decision to indict Lambert Borgardt for second degree aggravated assault and battery after police say he attacked two men last fall.

Nick Soret and Andrew Oppleman had just attended Gay Pride festivities and were at a pizza mobile truck in the Warehouse District area when their paths crossed Borgardt's.

A surveillance camera captured Borgardt, an ex-military man from Temple, talking to Soret but the problem is you can't hear what is being said. Without warning the video shows Borgardt punching Soret in the nose, he then bashed Oppelman in the mouth knocking out five of Oppelman's teeth.

Both victims were hoping the Travis County grand jury would indict on hate crime charges but prosecutor Andrea Austin says there was no audio revealing exactly what Borgardt was saying.

Texas has had a Hate Crimes Bill since 1998, but according to Jim Harrington with the Texas Civil Rights Project the state averages less than one hate crimes conviction per year.

Andrea Austin told KVUE that in 2010, Travis County formed a Hate Crimes Task Force after two men were beaten up coming out of Oil Can Harry's, a popular gay bar downtown.

If convicted, Borgardt could be sentenced anywhere from two to 20 years in jail.

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