Louisiana man who used social media to lure and try to kill gay men, gets 45 years

Chance Seneca mug shot. (Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office)

A Louisiana man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for the kidnapping and grisly knife attack on a teen in 2020 — part of what federal authorities said was a scheme to kidnap and murder gay men.

Chance Seneca pleaded guilty to a federal kidnapping charge in September in a plea deal that saw an earlier hate crime charge dropped. He was sentenced Wednesday in Lafayette by U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Seneca’s statement said he used Snapchat and the Grindr app, which is used by gay and bisexual men, to set up a meeting with Holden White, who he tried to murder and dismember on June 20, 2020. A day earlier, he said, he used the apps to set up a meeting with another gay man but decided not to kill him.


FILE - Snapchat logo displayed on a phone screen. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

At the time of the attack, Seneca was 19. White was 18.

Seneca handcuffed, choked, stabbed and slit White's wrists before ending the attack, dialing 911 and waiting for police outside the residence where the attack occurred. Police found White in a bathtub inside. A hammer, a saw and an ice pick were among the weapons on the scene, some of them having been ordered on Amazon ahead of the attack, according to an FBI affidavit.

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White survived, but his wrists, cut to the bone, "required extensive medical care to rehabilitate the damaged and severed tendons." His left hand has permanent nerve damage, according to court documents.


FILE - Grindr app on a phone. (CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

White and his family members attended the sentencing hearing, according to The Advocate. In court, he talked about the lingering physical effects of the attack, including scars, the loss of feeling in his left hand and a finger on his right hand, and his skull's sensitivity to weight and pressure.

He said he fears for his safety and the safety of others when Seneca gains freedom.

"I’m scared for me and for other future victims he might harm. I’m scared an 18-year-old, like I was, will have their life forever changed by a date. … I don’t need anyone getting hurt the way that I did," White said.

White said the attack has colored the way people view him and treat him and has at times been used in verbal or online attacks during arguments or disagreements.

"People tell me he should have killed me that night. He should have finished the job. They should bond him out so he can kill me," White said.