Two Kentucky men were acquitted of hate-crime charges after using anti-gay slurs while kicking and beating 29-year-old Kevin Pennington in a rural park last year, reports AP.
Anthony Ray Jenkins and his cousin David Jason Jenkins were charged with violating a section of a federal hate-crimes law that has not previously been prosecuted in the US, reports CBS News.
They were, however, found guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy to a kidnapping related to the assault on Pennington.
Local TV station WKYT reports that the jury heard US attorneys argued that the defendants planned to lure Pennington from his home with drugs and then took him to a local park with the intent to kill him.
Two women who were at the scene told jurors that the cousins yelled anti-gay slurs as they beat Pennington.
The defense argued that it was a drug deal gone bad, not homosexuality, that was behind the assault, reports WKYT.
Andrew Stephens, the attorney for David Jason Jenkins, argued that his client was too drunk to have planned the attack after drinking at least 21 beers, reports CBS.
"These people who were stoned and drunk were going to form a plan? When this event took place, they were all about drugs," Stephens said.
Pennington reportedly escaped when his attackers paused to look in Anthony Jenkins' pickup truck for a tire tool to use as a murder weapon, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Alex Jenkins, brother of Anthony Ray Jenkins, took the witness stand Tuesday against his brother and cousin.
He had spent a night in jail for contempt of court for refusing to testify, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.
He told the jury that his cousin, Jason Jenkins, was "kind of cocky" about assaulting Pennington.
"He seemed glad that he had did it," Jenkins said.