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.READ MORE: 'I Am A Gold-Collar;' Driverless Tesla Backseat Rider Basks In Social Media Notoriety As He Flaunts His Wealth
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.READ MORE: Optimism Soaring In San Francisco Bay Area As COVID Pandemic Woes And Worries Ease
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.MORE NEWS: Passenger Killed In Crash On Highway 680 In Milpitas; Driver Arrested For DUI
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