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Please begin with an informative title:

On Thursday, 23-year-old Mallory Owens of Mobile County, Alabama, went to her girlfriend's house for Thanksgiving dinner. She ended up at USA Medical Center, having been beaten so badly that her nose was broken, her cheek was crushed, and she may require plastic surgery on her face. The attack came at the hands of her girlfriend's 18-year-old brother, Travis Hawkins, Jr., who punched Owens repeatedly in the face, causing her to be unrecognizable.

Owens' family claims the attack happened simply because she is a lesbian and in a relationship with Hawkins' sister. And this is allegedly not the first time Hawkins has assaulted Owens. According to her family, Hawkins hit her over the head with a pipe wrench earlier in the year, for which they did not pursue charges.

Her mother, undoubtedly remembering the previous attack, begged her not to go to Thanksgiving dinner at the Hawkins home.

She was invited over by the family to eat Thanksgiving. I did not want her to go, I begged her not to go, knowing how the family felt about her. But she said, "They're trying to be nice."
It turns out, sadly, that her mother was right to be concerned. More below the fold. Beware: Graphic photos are also below.
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This is Owens in her hospital bed after the attack, from an image posted on Facebook:

Photobucket

These are grotesque images, but they are necessary to fully comprehend exactly what happened. Hawkins, after doing that to this innocent woman, is currently free, having been arrested for mere second degree assault and then bailed out. WKRG reports:

Mobile's District Attorney met with police investigators first thing Monday morning. "We've got this," said D.A. Ashley Rich. "We're on top of this, and we're making sure that the case is proceeding down the criminal path."

Rich says she has no reason to call it a hate crime at this point in the investigation.

"We are assessing her injuries, everything regarding her hospital stay. But at this time, he is charged with causing serious physical injuries to her, which is assault second degree under the laws of the State of Alabama."

Unfortunately, the District Attorney is familiar with the Hawkins family. Ashley Rich actually tired to prosecute the defendant's father, Travis Hawkins Sr., in January 2011, after he shot his son, Hawkins Jr. Since the son refused to testify, she was unable to pursue the case further.

Owens' family, understandably, does not feel justice is being served. They want attempted murder charges brought against Hawkins. Owens' mother had this to say:
He tried to kill her. He's lucky he didn't kill her. She's lucky to be alive. I didn't recognize her when I got here. It's hard to look at her like that.
Her sister Avery also responded:
I want him behind bars for life. He doesn't need to be out, because if he does he could do this to someone else or he'll finish it off with my sister.
The local Fox affiliate reports:
Taylor [Owens' mother] said this time, no one stepped in to shield her daughter from Hawkins's fist. She believes the Hawkins family stood by and let it happen.

An attorney for the Hawkins family, Pete Burns, said that's not true, "They care for Mallory and regret what happened to her. They did not expect this to happen."

The family attorney also denies the accusation that this was a hate crime against Owens.

Owens, by the way, does not have health insurance. According to the WKRG report, a fund has been set up for her at Regions Bank. (I don't know how it works, but I included a link to the bank's website.)

In addition, a change.org petition to the Mobile County Prosecutor has been launched--it currently has over 18,000 signatures.

Justice needs to be served in this case. This is just horrific.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Chrislove on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:26 PM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays, Milk Men And Women, and LGBT Kos Community.

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