WAYNE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Two men charged in a brutal on-camera beating that sparked outrage in the Wayne County community appeared in court Wednesday afternoon.
Landon McCaa, 32, and Tomas Sion Brown, 28, admitted to the beating before Justice Court Judge Charles Chapman. McCaa and Brown are charged with aggravated assault. Chapman set bond for both suspects at $500,000.
In the courtroom, McCaa and Brown said they beat a man outside McCaa’s home on Saturday, April 13. McCaa said the attack happened after a night of drinking and a misunderstanding.
“I was told that he was talking about my family, and I told him that I would get him, and I jumped on him, and then I found out that he wasn’t talking about my family,” McCaa told the court. “I apologized to him before he left my home.”
“I was drinking and out of control. I’ve been drinking for a long time, for about a year, and I was just talking to somebody and got upset at my house, and I took it out on somebody I shouldn’t have,” McCaa said.
Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley said the video shows McCaa punching an unexpecting man in the face. After that initial punch, McCaa can be seen taking the man to the ground and repeatedly punching him in the head. Ashley said Brown joined in the attack after the video ended.
Ashley said the victim was badly injured and had to have surgery. We’re told the victim is now recovering from his injuries at home.
Video of the vicious attack spread quickly on social media, with many expressing outrage over the beating. Some have said the assault should be classified as a hate crime.
Investigators are still working to identify the person who shot the video, Ashley said. The sheriff said deputies would like to speak with that person to learn more about what happened that night.
Ashley said he has informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the attack and added that the possibility of hate crime charges has not been ruled out.
According to The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, it’s a federal crime to threaten or use force against someone because of their race, color, religion, national origin, perceived religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Anyone with information that could help investigators is encouraged to contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.