Crime

Springtown man sentenced for beating, kidnapping gay man

A Springtown man who abducted and beat a young gay man in 2013 was sentenced on Monday in federal court to more than 15 years in federal prison on a kidnapping charge.

In recorded jail calls, Brice Johnson, 20, told family members: “I invited this guy over, right, at first it was basically like a joke that went too far and too wrong. I invited him over because he was a ___ or whatever,” according to a federal criminal complaint filed in the case.

Johnson beat the victim on Sept. 2, 2013, until he thought he had killed the man, identified only as A.K. in the federal criminal complaint. But the victim survived and spent 10 days at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth with multiple skull and facial fractures.

Johnson was arrested a few days later.

He and the adult victim, who also is from Springtown, met on meetme.com, a social network and dating service, according to the criminal complaint.

A.K and Johnson connected in a chat room on MeetMe.com. A.K. indicated on the MeetMe page that he is gay, but Johnson’s page noted that he was not. The two chatted on the morning of Sept. 2, 2013, and discussed engaging in sexual activity, according to the complaint.

Johnson and A.K. exchanged a series of explicit text messages on the sexual activity they planned to engage in, and Johnson invited A.K. to his Springtown home, providing directions, the complaint states.

A.K. arrived at Johnson’s home and they were outside talking for a short time. Eventually, Johnson said, A.K grabbed his penis and Johnson said, “Dude, what’s your problem?” according to the statement. A.K. said, “Aren’t you gay?” Johnson said no and hit A.K. about five times. A.K. later told FBI agents that he did not grab Johnson’s penis.

Johnson severely beat A.K and later bound him with an electrical cord, loaded his body into the trunk of A.K’s car and drove him to a family friend’s home, according to the court document.

At the home, A.K. yelled for help and friends told Johnson that he needed to take the victim to a hospital. A.K. was moved to the back seat of the car and Johnson drove him to an emergency medical center in Springtown.

In his first interview with authorities, Johnson told Springtown police that he found A.K beaten and in the trunk of A.K.’s car, and that he saw a black truck driving away.

In another interview with Springtown police, Johnson admitted that he had invited A.K. over to his home, but said that he was not gay. He admitted that he participated in sexual communication on the meetme.com website, but said he didn’t think it was “for real.”

FBI agents later joined the investigation and discovered that Johnson had saved A.K.’s cellphone number in his cellphone under an anti-gay slur name.

He was sentenced on Monday to 183 months in the federal penitentiary.

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