71-year-old Texan woman charged with gay hate crime

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A 71-year-old Texan woman was yesterday charged with committing a hate crime after being accused of beating and choking a 25-year-old man with a wooden cane because she believed he was gay and had AIDS.

Wanda Derby of Richland Hills attacked the man – who remains unidentified – on Wednesday night as her son was moving into his apartment.

Police said that Derby made a homophobic comment and told authorities that the man “has AIDS” and was going to “kill her son”.

Derby was freed yesterday afternoon on $11,500 bail. She is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, enhanced as a hate crime, and assault causing bodily injury. She is accused of hitting the man several times with a cane and choking him by placing the cane against his throat.

The injured man’s mother witnessed the attack and as she moved to call the police, was hit in the face, according to Richland Hills police.

The man had marks and bruises on his throat and body. One policeman said he’d never witnessed such a type of call in 15 years in the force.

Prior to the attack that same night, Derby posted on her Facebook page: “My son Steven is no longer my son. He has sided with the idiots next door and I guess he [thinks] they will take care of him. He will never get another thing from me or his dad. We have washed our hands of him.”