Chance Seneca: Louisiana man pleads guilty to abducting gay teen to 'satisfy his homicidal urges'

Chance Seneca: Louisiana man pleads guilty to abducting gay teen to 'satisfy his homicidal urges'
Chance Seneca, 21, dialed 911 and informed the dispatcher that he had killed a guy 'in a self-described effort to be put into a mental institution' (Lafayette Police Department)

LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA: A 21-year-old man from Louisana confessed to the gruesome abduction of a gay teen, Holden White, 18, who he met through an LGBTQ dating app called Grindr. According to Chance Seneca's sworn testimony, he meant to kill and dismember gay people until he was apprehended or dead. 

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When Lafayette resident Chance Seneca pled guilty on Thursday, federal prosecutors agreed to drop hate crime and other counts against him, according to the court records.

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Chance Seneca also admitted that he had intentions of killing his victim, Holden White, who was 18 at the time "for the purpose of satisfying his homicidal urges."

Holden White informed the neighborhood newspaper that Chance Seneca who was then 19 arranged a meet-up in June 2020 and invited Holden White over to his apartment.  After declining Seneca's invitation to visit his new apartment, he was convinced to meet Seneca in person for the first time at Seneca's father's house. After a small talk, he was handcuffed, choked, stabbed, and his wrists were slit so severely that “all the blood vessels in my face ruptured” before passing out, Holden White said.

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“I remember thinking, ‘Well, this is it,’” Holden White told The Acadiana Advocate. “The last words I said to myself were just ‘stay calm.’ Over and over and over in my head, I was just repeating to myself to stay calm," he said.

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Seneca then dialed 911 and informed the dispatcher that he had killed a guy “in a self-described effort to be put into a mental institution.” He was subsequently taken into custody on the spot and accused of attempting second-degree murder.

In a statement given by Kristen Clarke, the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, “The actions and intentions of the defendant in this case were shocking." She then added “The internet should be accessible and safe for all Americans, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The Justice Department will continue to identify and hold accountable anyone who uses online spaces as a means to terrorize or abuse others.”

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US District Court Judge Robert Summerhays scheduled the punishment for January 25, 2023. The maximum penalty for Seneca's kidnapping offense, according to federal prosecutors, is life in prison. But it could be enhanced if the judge determines that Seneca chose the victim because of his actual or imagined gender or sexual orientation, reported ABC News.

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The sworn statement states that Holden White is still alive, but his wrists, which were slashed to the bone, “required extensive medical care to rehabilitate the damaged and severed tendons” and his left hand has lifelong nerve damage.

“It is nothing short of miraculous that the victims who endured the vicious attacks from this defendant survived," said US Attorney Brandon B Brown for the Western District of Louisiana.

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Grindr, which was created in 2009, has received criticism in recent years for privacy and safety issues. Grindr has reportedly been used to target LGBTQ males all around the world in a number of cases, including the one in Louisiana.

In its safety guidelines, Grindr advises users, “If you do choose to meet, we recommend you do so in public first, at a safe space like an LGBTQ+ friendly cafe, and be careful about what possessions you take with you ... Make sure a responsible person you trust knows who you’re meeting, where you’re going, and when you’re planning on coming back."

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