Trial delayed, plea pursued in grisly 2020 attack on gay man

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A federal hate crime trial was delayed Thursday for a suspect accused of trying to kill and dismember a gay man he met using social media and a dating app.

Chase Seneca had been scheduled for trial March 14 in connection with the bloody 2020 attack at a Lafayette home. U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays on Thursday granted a defense request for a delay.

Two days earlier, a court status report said attorneys are pursuing a plea agreement.

Seneca, who was 19 at the time of his federal indictment, is accused of strangling and severely cutting Holden White in June 2020. White recovered from severe injuries, including punctures to the neck and wrists sliced nearly to the bone.

Seneca has pleaded not guilty to state and federal charges.

Authorities said Seneca met White using the gay dating app Grindr, developed an online relationship with him, and eventually lured him to a Lafayette home, intending to kill and dismember him. An FBI affidavit states that Seneca called police “in a self-described effort to be put into a mental institution” after ending the attack.

Seneca faces multiple federal charges including kidnapping and “hate crime with intent to kill.”