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Suspect in hate crime posted to Twitter waives preliminary hearing, receives lower bond

Preliminary exam begins Monday

DETROIT – The suspect in a hate crime against a gay man that was posted to Twitter and caused a furor on social media was in court on Monday.

Steven Drake Edwards, 20, is charged with felonious assault, carrying a concealed weapon in a motor vehicle and a felony firearms violation.

In the video posted to Twitter, a man can be seen pointing a gun at a 23-year-old man whom he believes is gay outside the Bightmoor Liquor store on Detroit’s west side. 

The video was posted at about 8 p.m. July 12 from the Twitter account @BINSWANSON. Edwards is believed to be the man holding the gun and the camera and yelling derogatory remarks, slurs and demands.

Edwards waived the preliminary hearing Monday and the defense requested a lower bond, arguing that Edwards is confined to a wheel chair. The prosecutor noted that Edwards is suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a fight.

Prosecutors said the gun seen in the post was never turned in to authorities and Edwards could still have access to the weapon if released on bond. Prosecutors also said that the defendant's family members have contacted the complainant and offered him money not to come to court.

The judge lowered Edwards' bond from $250,000 to $100,000 cash/surety.

“There’s no reason to be homophobic. It’s 2016,” the victim said. “I’m thankful for all the people that’s supporting me and standing by me. It could have been a tragic situation."

Edwards is due back in court Aug. 8.


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