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Blotter: Suspects in Aubrey home invasion plead guilty to federal hate crimes

Two men pleaded guilty to hate crimes on Tuesday in connection to several home invasions in and around Denton County between Jan. 17 and Feb. 7, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorneys Office of the Eastern District of Texas.

Nigel Garrett, 21, and Cameron Ajiduah, 18, pleaded guilty to assaulting men because of their sexual orientation. They are two of four men named on an 18-count indictment in connection to home invasions in Plano, Frisco and Aubrey.

Their charges on the indictment include kidnappings, carjackings, conspiring to cause bodily injury because of a person's sexual orientation and the use of firearms to commit violent crimes, the release said.

The four men were accused of using Grindr, a social media dating application for gay men, to arrange meetings with their victims at their homes. They used tape to restrain the victims and physically assaulted the men. They also made derogatory statements to them for being gay, the release said.

Garrett and Ajiduah were also accused of covering a victim's eyes with tape before verbally and physically assaulting him.

The home invasion in Aubrey occurred Feb. 7, when three masked men entered a home in the 2000 block of Maxwell Court, restrained the victim, assaulted him and later stole his car.

Garrett and Ajiduah face a maximum penalty of life in prison with a $250,000 fine.

Lewisville man gets life sentence for sexually abusing young girl for years

James Cottle, 77, of Lewisville was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a young child.

James CottleDenton County records
James Cottle
Denton County records

Cottle's jury trial started Monday in Judge Brody Shanklin's 211th Judicial District Court, according to First Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck. On Wednesday, after the victim and several witnesses testified, he decided to change his plea to guilty, she said. The case went to the judge for sentencing later that afternoon.

The incident started in 2009, when Cottle's daughter was 6 years old. Beck said Cottle lived alone at his home in the 100 block of High School Drive in Lewisville, and his daughter would visit him on weekends and one week in the summer.

He sexually abused her for years until she told authorities at the age of 13, Beck said. The girl was interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County in Lewisville, and Lewisville police eventually arrested Cottle. 

Other reports

600 block of Fallmeadow Court — Police did not make any arrests Tuesday after a 48-year-old woman said her neighbor hit her with a door so hard she threw up.

Police responded to the apartment complex about 8:30 p.m., but the alleged suspect never came out of the apartment, the report said.

The investigation is ongoing.

2800 block of South Mayhill Road — A man told police Tuesday that he wanted to file charges against a woman who he said slapped him at Mayhill Hospital, which treats psychiatric patients.

The woman, however, told police that she slapped the man because she saw him making crude gestures toward a female staff member, the police report said. No arrests were made.

The responding officer is still investigating the matter, the report said.

100 block of Duchess Drive — Denton police couldn't find a suspect who allegedly assaulted a woman and her daughter Tuesday at an apartment complex, according to a police report.

The 43-year-old woman told police the man assaulted her and broke her phone in the process. She said he was still in the apartment complex, but officers couldn't find him when they searched the area.

No arrests were made.

Roundup

From 7 a.m. Tuesday to 7 a.m. Wednesday:

The Denton County Sheriff's Office handled 1,078 service and officer-initiated calls for the agencies it serves, and 35 people were booked into Denton County Jail. 

Denton police handled 148 calls for service and made seven arrests. 

Denton firefighters responded to 17 medical calls, one vehicle accident and one call for public service.