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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