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Hate Crime Charges Added in Case of La. Man's Brutal Attack on Grindr Date

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday January 27, 2021

A Louisiana man has been arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder of a gay man he met on Grindr, Newsweek reports.

Chance Seneca, 19, is currently jailed with a $250,000 bond and has reportedly pled not guilty to charges that in June 2020, he brutally strangled, stabbed, and cut his victim, Holden White, who was 18 at the time.

Louisiana television station KATC reported on January 25 that the attack "is now being prosecuted as a hate crime.

'Police initially said they didn't see evidence of a hate crime in the attack on Holden White, who spent days in a coma and nearly a month in the hospital," KATC writes.

As EDGE reported early this month, White met Seneca on Grindr and the two arranged a first date. Seneca picked up and brought White back to his house under the pretense that their date would be playing video games. At one point, White reached for his bag but then suddenly felt a cord wrapped around his neck and pulling him backward. He remembers attempting to fight back before passing out.

White awoke at one point to find himself naked in a bathtub, bleeding and with cuts to his wrists and throat. Seneca — who reportedly idolized serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who brutally killed and dismembered 16 boys and men between 1978-1991 — called 911 and said he had killed a man and would be waiting for police outside of his Lafayette home.

After the attack, White spent a month in the hospital, undergoing surgeries and rehabilitation. A GoFundMe was set up by White's sister to help her brother get back on his feet, with a $100,000 goal having been met.

Initially Lafayette Police did not investigating the attempted murder as a hate crime. White alleged that they mishandled the case, with the severity of the attack and not having provided him with a rape kit. He says he has no recollection of whether he had been raped. White has been working with the FBI on the case, which was confirmed by Sgt. Wayne Griffin, a Lafayette Police Department spokesperson.

"Prosecutors added the hate crime charge last week," reported KATC. "According to the assistant district attorney in the case, Donald Knecht, the additional charge carries a potential five year penalty to Seneca's sentence."

Seneca's defense attorney Clay LeJeune, said he was notified of the additional charge last week by prosecutors.

"We're going to enter a not-guilty plea on this new charge," LeJeune told KATC. "I haven't seen any indication of evidence that this was a hate crime, but ultimately the state will have to produce that."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.