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Police say Johnson City death in club's parking lot not a hate crime

Staff Report • Jan 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Tricities.com is reporting that Johnson City police say the beating death of a man at New Beginnings nightclub was not a hate crime. Although the sexual preferences of both Bradley Ashby, the accused attacker, and James Lewis, the victim, remain unclear, Lt. Steve Sherfey says what happened at the gay-friendly nightspot was not motivated by sexual-orientation. Sherfey says investigators aren’t sure there was a motive. He speculated that it could have been a bar brawl that went too far.Sherfey says the brawl began early Sunday morning in the club's parking lot after people who had been drinking got into an argument. That sparked a fight where two women were hit, and ultimately Ashby punched Lewis once in the face. Lewis died the next day. Sherfey told a reporter he hopes an autopsy will reveal more about his death.

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