Everett could face 10 years in jail because what he did is considered a hate crime. He assaulted his victim because he thought the victim might be gay.
Again, this was wrong for him to do. But the Department of Justice got involved and leveraged hate crime laws on this case. So why is hate crime so bad? According to U.S. Attorney McQuade:
A hate crime is different than a simple assault because it is an attack on not just one individual victim, but an attack on everyone who shares a particular characteristic.
That is one of the dumbest leaps of logic I have ever heard. Hitting the victim is like hitting every homosexual in America. Really? These are the sort of people we are putting in charge to prosecute crime and putting the power of the federal government behind them?
This hate crime doesn't really penalize Everett any more than he normally would have. According to Michigan law intent to maim can get you 10 years in prison. He attacked someone because he didn't like them. He wanted to hurt them. This is pretty easy to see.
Instead it becomes a federal issue. The federal government is involved in something that could obviously be taken care of locally. Is it really worth our tax dollars to get this labeled as a hate crime? Since the DoJ got involved we all literally funded the prosecution of a local crime.
Then again, if you think that Everett assault every homosexual in America then you probably think this was money well spent.