A white man convicted for brutally beating a Black man last year attack was sentenced March 10 to three years of probation.
Dale Lee Millard, 29, was sentenced on Wednesday, March 10, 10 months after he brutally beat 23-year-old DarQuan Jones in what the NAACP has called a “racially motivated attack.”
Millard was arrested in June and charged with willful injury causing serious injury, a felony offense. The maximum amount of prison time Millard faced was five years.
Millard and 28-year-old Jesse James Downs, who was also charged with willful injury causing serious injury, attacked Jones in the early morning hours on May 16 while he was on his way to his girlfriend’s house near the 100 block of East Titus Avenue, in Des Moines, Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported.
Jones told the Des Moines Register last year that when he knocked on her door, three intoxicated men came from behind the house and attacked him before she could answer, allegedly because they thought he was trying to break into the home. A witness said they heard two men — only two are charged in the case — nearby saying, “That [racial slur] tried to break into our house, so we beat him up.”
The injuries Jones suffered, including multiple facial fractures and a broken wrist, required 10 stitches. During the assault, Jones was choked, punched, and dragged to a creek where his head was held underwater.
“The only thing that was in my head was, ‘They’re going to kill me,'” Jones said last year. “When they started dragging me to the creek, I thought it was over for me.” Medical bills for treatment Jones received for his injuries totaled $10,000.
Millard entered an Alford Plea in January, acknowledging prosecutors had strong evidence likely to be successful at trial, but continuing to maintain that he was innocent. The plea reduced the severity if the felony.
In the deferred judgment, a guilty verdict was withheld and Millard was placed on probation, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay Jones $10,000 in damages.
Downs pleaded not guilty in August and has an April 15 court date.
The men were not charged with hate crimes, although Jones, who did not not appear in court or release any statements through prosecutors on the day of sentencing, previously said he believes they should be.
Kameron Middlebrooks, president of the NAACP in Des Moines, said after the assaults that the beating warrants hate crime charges. “After speaking with Quan, his family, and the witnesses that have come forward, if the story is as they state it is, then what occurred yesterday should be nothing less than a hate crime,” he said.