California Teen in Bus Attack Ordered to Stand Trial

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    NBC Bay Area
    File photo of Sasha Fleischman. The teen was set on fire aboard an AC Transit bus.

    A Northern California teenager accused of setting the clothing of a gender-neutral teen on fire on a transit bus has been ordered to trial.

    Richard Thomas was ordered to stand trial on aggravated mayhem, assault and hate crime charges in an Alameda County courtroom on Thursday.

    The 16-year-old boy from Oakland faces a possible life sentence if he's convicted in the Nov. 4 attack on 18-year-old Sasha Fleischman, who identifies as neither male nor female.

    Students Wear Skirts For "Agender" Teen Burned on Bus

    [BAY] Students Wear Skirts For "Agender" Teen Burned on Bus
    Students at a high school in Berkeley showed up wearing skirts to campus on Friday to honor an "agender" 18-year-old whose own skirt was set on fire during an AC Transit bus ride earlier this week in an attack that's now been charged as a hate crime. Jodi Hernandez reports.

    Thomas' attorney, William DuBois says Thomas waived his right to a preliminary hearing in part to avoid having bus surveillance video of the incident to be played in court before a trial.

    Du Bois says homophobia played no role in the bus incident, which he characterizes as an ill-conceived prank gone horribly wrong.

    No trial date has been set.