OAKLAND (CBS / AP) – An East Bay teenager accused of setting the clothing of a gender-neutral teen on fire on a transit bus has been ordered to trial.

Richard Thomas was ordered to stand trial on aggravated mayhem, assault and hate crime charges in an Alameda County courtroom on Thursday.

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The 16-year-old boy from Oakland faces a possible life sentence if he’s convicted in the Nov. 4 attack on 18-year-old Sasha Fleischman, who identifies as neither male nor female.

Thomas’ attorney, William DuBois said Thomas waived his right to a preliminary hearing in part to avoid having bus surveillance video of the incident to be played in court before a trial.

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Du Bois said homophobia played no role in the bus incident, which he characterizes as an ill-conceived prank gone horribly wrong.

No trial date has been set.

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