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Teen Charged With Hate Crime in Cape Girardeau

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) – A southeast Missouri teenager is facing a hate crime charge for allegedly attacking a gay woman.

The Southeast Missourian reports that a judge ruled Tuesday that 17-year-old Mercedes Ayers of Cape Girardeau will be prosecuted as an adult. She is also charged with burglary. Ayers was 16 when the alleged crime occurred last month.

Police say 41-year-old Jeana Terry and her partner were inside their home with Ayers began shouting anti-gay slurs. The girl then allegedly gathered her 13-year-old sister and 11-year-old brother, went to Terry’s porch, pulled her outside and attacked her while making comments about her sexuality.

Terry suffered an eye injury, bruising and other injuries.

Ayers’ attorney did not object to her being certified as an adult. He declined comment after the hearing.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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