A Cape Girardeau teenager was certified Tuesday to stand trial as an adult in the beating last month of a gay woman. Authorities are labeling the incident a hate crime.
According to the rather florid probable cause statement, 17-year-old Mercedes Ayers had been harassing victim Jeana Terry and her partner, Lisa Lange, for weeks, referring to her neighbors as "dykes" and "yaps" (a various of gays spelled backwards). And the kicker: On at least one occasion, Ayers allegedly yelled out at the couple referring to herself, saying:
"I'll bet black you want some of this black pussy!"
On July 24, Ayers allegedly saw Terry sitting near a window of her home and called out that she was going across the street to get her brother and then return to "beat her ass." Later that day Ayers allegedly walked up to the front door of Terry's home, grabbed Terry and pulled her outside onto the porch. Police say the teen then began punching Terry, who did not return blows. Other juveniles joined in on the attack, laughing as they struck Terry according to one media account.
Terry suffered a black eye and several bruises and abrasions in the incident. According to police accounts, Ayers ran from the scene but was quickly detained. She's charged with first-degree burglary and assault as a hate crime based on the sexual orientation