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Barbarism in Indiana

A friend pointed me towards a story this afternoon about a murder in Indiana. Not just a murder, a hate crime. Read:

According to the police affidavit, defendants in the case, Coleman King, 18, and Garrett Gray, 19, contend Aaron “Shorty” Hall, 35, made a sexual gesture toward King, who felt so threatened he and Gray beat Hall to death. Jackson County, Ind., chief deputy prosecutor Amy Marie Travis said her office was prohibited from talking about the case, but said that the investigation is ongoing.

Gray told police he struck Hall a dozen times and King hit him approximately 75 times that evening. The two allegedly continued to beat Hall until his eyes were swollen shut and he was spitting up blood. They dragged him down the stairs by his feet while his head thudded on each step, according to the affidavit.

Hendricks loaded Hall into the back of Gray’s pickup truck and Gray and King continued to beat him. At one point in the ride Gray asked Hall if he “wanted to die tonight.” The truck stopped on a dirt lane, they dragged Hall out, threw him in a ditch and delivered more blows before driving off and leaving him for dead. Hall’s breathing was labored, but he was still alive when they left, police said.

That makes me sad, but it seems so commonplace that I’m not even sure I can work up to outrage. There will of course be a “gay panic” defense. “He came on to me and it threatened my manhood so much that I had to beat him to death.” Yeah, because, “Um, no thanks, I’m not into guys,” wouldn’t have been sufficient. Luckily at least a few juries have said “no dice” to gay panic defenses1 and New York and California took up bills a year ago to invalidate “gay panic” as a defense2.

This particular story is two months old and this is the first that I’ve heard about it. While the mainstream media is blathering on about Larry King getting the first interview with a post-jail Paris Hilton3, they’re ignoring the stories that are really important.

Brutal Indiana killing echoes Shepard case – Washington Blade

1. Gonzalez “Gay-Panic” Defense Fails
2. Pam’s House Blend and N.Y., Calif. target “gay panic” defense — Queer Lesbian Gay News —
3. larry king paris hilton – Google News


Written by Jeff

Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Posted in Bigots, GLBT, Hate Crimes

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3 Responses

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  1. Thanks for doing the research, Jeff. I was struck by the original “explanation” of the beating and the denial by the victim’s brother. Who’s covering whom, I wonder? It would be an interesting wrinkle if this particular “gay panic” defense, besides being contemptible, were founded on intention to perjure. Or is it that in the moment “I’m beating a guy up because he insulted my mother” was less – what, embarrassing? – than “I’m beating a guy up because he grabbed my crotch”? (And what kind of mind calls his friends “fuckin’ ignorant” while he’s busy documenting their crime?)

    Douglas Michael Massing

    Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 5:26 pm

  2. You’d better read some more about this one, because it really stinks. Aaron Hall’s body was found in the garage of the deputy coroner, Terry Gray, who is the father of one of the accused.
    No charges have been placed on the father. Rather there has been a statement from the coroner’s office that he had not worked in that capacity for over a year (like that would make a difference in him noticing the stence and the blood stains.?)
    In addition, a local police officer went to the Gray home two days before Hall was discovered and found “no evidence” of Hall being there. Which means that he also did not smell the body and did not notice any blood stains, 13 later being removed from the house.
    This gay panic defense is a ploy designed to divert attention from the corruption that is rampant among public officials in that neck of the woods.
    Go to to read all of the articles about Hall, including interviews from residents who claim that there are certain people in authority that you simply do not cross.


    Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    this man,aaron hall,was not gay!!!these boys took my daughters father forever!!!she’s just ten years old!!!!!READ THIS WEB SITE AND TELL ME IF YOU THINK THEY SHOULD GET A PLEA BARGIN!!!!I DON’T THINK SO!!!!


    Thursday, September 6, 2007 at 9:52 pm

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