Mallory Owens, a 23-year-old Alabama woman, has been released from the hospital after being brutally beaten by her girlfriend’s 18-year-old brother, Travis Hawkins, during Thanksgiving dinner at the Hawkins’ home.
Owens suffered multiple skull fractures and crushed bones, and had to have facial reconstruction surgery with metal plates put in her cheekbones due to the severity of her injuries.
Owens’s family has said that the beating was a hate crime, and that Hawkins beat Mallory because Mallory is a lesbian. Hawkins has been charged with 2nd degree assault, but Mallory’s family has said that it was more than that — it was “attempted murder” and a hate crime.
Mallory Owens and her girlfriend, Ally Hawkins
"She was invited over by the family to eat Thanksgiving,” Mallory’s mother, Kristi Taylor, told WKRG. “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.'"
“He's never liked Mallory because [Ally, Mallory’s girlfriend and Hawkins’s sister] is in a relationship with a girl, he has never liked that fact whatsoever,” said Avery Godwin, Mallory’s sister.
Kristi Taylor told Fox 10 TV that this isn’t the first time Hawkins attacked Mallory: “The first time he attacked her with a pipe and hit her in the back of the head and on the back a few times,” she said.
However, Mallory has said that the attack was not a hate crime. She told WKRG that her sexual orientation was not the reason she was attacked.
“A lot of things have happened between us, but it doesn't make me hate her brother," she said. "I don't hate her family at all, or anybody for that matter."
Mallory’s girlfriend and Travis’s sister, Ally Hawkins, agreed that it wasn’t a hate crime, but would not say why Travis attacked Mallory.
"It's not a hate crime at all," said she said. "We both know the reason why this happened, and it doesn't make any excuses for him, I'm not defending him at all. I know why he was angry, and that will come out.”
Hawkins’s attorney also denies that the attack was a hate crime. "They (the Hawkins family) have recognized that the relationship between Mallory and Ally is a long-term commitment, and the choice is to say, 'Well, we're angry about something that may have happened in the past,' and risk losing the relationship with their daughter, or to say 'Look, you guys are life partners, welcome into the family,'" he said.
Mallory’s family disagrees, and is still pushing for the charges to be upgraded to attempted murder. (Alabama’s hate crime laws do not cover sexual orientation.) Whatever the reason for the beating, it was brutal — you can read more about it (and see graphic photos) here.
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