Army Releases Barry Winchell Murder Conspirator, 5 Years Early

Former Army Specialist Justin Fisher, convicted of conspiracy in the July 1999 murder of PFC Barry Winchell, has been released from prison. Fisher was Winchell’s roommate at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and spurred on fellow soldier Calvin Glover to beat Winchell to death one night with a baseball bat after months of anti-gay harassment.

Winchell_1Winchell had been dating a transgender performer named Calpernia Adams whom he met on a trip to a Nashville transgender club with Fisher. Fisher stood by several months later as Glover bludgeoned Winchell to death in a brutal homophobic attack in his sleep.

Fisher had been sentenced to twelve and a half years for his part in the murder. He served only seven.

The story of Winchell’s murder was told in the 2003 film Soldier’s Girl. Fisher was played by Shawn Hatosy who appears in the clip below, the first eight minutes of Soldier’s Girl.

Servicemens Legal Defense Fund (SLDN) executive director C. Dixon Osburn released the following statement:

“Seven years after the murder of PFC Winchell, the military has done little to protect its troops from another Justin Fisher. By the Pentagon’s own admission, anti-gay harassment is rampant throughout the forces, yet Pentagon leaders have barely lifted a finger to curb attacks on its own troops. The Department of Defense’s anti-harassment plan has not been implemented, its leaders have not been properly trained on dealing with harassment, and its service members are left vulnerable to unchecked homophobia. If military leaders do not take action to properly deal with harassment in the ranks, it is only a matter of time before another anti-gay hate crime occurs on their watch.”

Winchell’s parents Patricia and Wally Kutteles also reacted to the news:

“Army leaders gave Justin Fisher a shockingly lenient sentence in the first place, but just as importantly, they have also failed, every day since, to protect other soldiers from Barry’s fate. As a mother, I never want to see Barry’s story repeated. As an American, I am outraged that our leaders have taken no action to make sure it never happens again. The most important step in curbing harassment is ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and sending a strong message that second-class citizenship is not tolerated in a first class military. But, until that happens, Pentagon leaders must, at the very least, step up to the plate and take real steps to protect our troops.”


  1. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    Former Army Specialist Justin Fisher…in a more “enlightened” age…another candidate for a short drop at the end of a rope.

  2. devilgirl says

    The movie “Soldier’s Girl” was amazing. I cried thru the whole ending. You just can’t believe that people would kill each other b’c they fell in love with a person. IN-fucking-credible.

  3. says

    If the movie didn’t make me sick enough to my stomach….his release sure does. I guess there truly is no “justice” in military justice.

  4. Tread says

    Is there anyone looking out for Calpernia Adams?

    Hopefully, she’s hired on some bodyguards. Fisher may come after her.

  5. JP says

    Hearing about this digusting turn in this horrible story kind of makes Reichen’s equating receiving a blow job in the Air Force with “rape” all the more shameless.

  6. luisa diaz says

    justin fisher and galvin glover can both both burn in hell and never see day light again.. much love and respect to calpernia adams specially berry winchell

  7. donald says

    hey just to say what happen was uncalled for back in july 7 1999.What justin did was what he wished he could have done to himself or have someone do it for him, i find it odd that the army navy and the others have this hate for gays but when they are hiding there homosexaulity you know they are so as backwards it’s not funny. i stillsay that justin fisher should still be in prison for life for what hhe did the guy(barry winchell) was sleep!? but he didn’t but in time his will come and it will be 3x wrose than Barry Winchell.
    R.I.P.Barry Winchell May god be with you

  8. glitterboy says

    Does anyone know if Barry Winchell actually came out of the closet or did they just find out he was gay? I think Fisher did it because he was gay and he was jealous of Winchell because Winchell accepted his own homosexuality while Fisher was stuck in the closet.

  9. Marko says

    I don’t know how do you know that Barry was gay. Because someone falls in love with the transgendered person, that does not make him necessarily gay…

    But that is not important. The point is that the life was lost through coward action. It disgusts me that someone would do harm to a person in sleep… and military officials allowing the whole harassment..

  10. justina says

    IS 5:12 AM THE MOVIE JUST FINISH AND …………..I CRY SO MUCH IS THE REASON I WAKE UP TO COME AND LOOK FOR MY SELF WHO WAS Barry so sadddddddddddd I Don’t have no more words to write wowwwwwwww R.I.P Barry winchell. I still in shock.

  11. justina says

    When my litle boy wake up to go the school he ask me mom ” why you cry” I just anwer him and say Im a mother too and I destroy just like Barry mom Destroy too…..just get ready to go to school and God bless you and take care you too from evil people and I kiss him and say love you justin.

  12. Daniel says

    Dear Barry
    As you see you are not forgotten, even almost 14 years after your life ended so prematurely.
    I personally consider you a hero, for falling in love with a person – and not a gender. You liked Calpernia Addams, and you didn`t care if she used to be – or still could be considered – a man. You are so big for that!!! Incredible that you had this insight and maturity, even if you were only 22 years old.
    We love you Barry!!!
    As for Justin Fisher, I hope he one day realises the mistake in his action (and when he does, the awareness will be a punishment in itself), although I doubt he is intelligent enough to ever realise.

  13. Ed Whitman says

    As a Fort Campbell MP on duty that fateful night in July, I still remember responding to the scene and following the ambulance to the hospital. I can’t believe that they can let a person walk for a crime as hateful and senseless as this was.

  14. Brianna says

    I think that Fisher should have suffered longer. From what I got from the movie it seemed like he was jealous of Wenchall spending more time with his girlfriend than he was on bass with him. HE NEEDS TO BE IN THE INSANE ASYLUM

  15. Brianna says

    Barry, you and the memories you left behind will never be forgotten. I’m so sorry you left us so soon. Damn it Glover + Fisher!!!!!!

  16. Brianna says

    From what I got in the movie Fisher was jealous that Winchell found someone else he’d rather spend his time with. Maybe Fisher could have been secretly in love with Barry and was jealous that he’d rather have Calpernia than him. He needs to be in the insane asylum!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Linda says

    If what was in the flim was all true then the service did not prosecute fisher right he wasn’t charged for ordering the murder or accessory before and after the fact there were other charges he could have been charged with and from what I seen Barry didn’t break any article (charges) it seems that fisher is a closet gay.and he was hook on riddlen its seems he wanted Barry for him self and when Barry got a person from the club who fell in love with him and Fisher could get a date well you know the for Glover he should have never be allowed to join the service because he was a mental unstable. For active service.