Arrest Made in South Carolina Gay Man’s Murder

Stephen Andrew Moller, 18, has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of Sean Kennedy, whom I posted about earlier today.

Kennedy had left Brew’s Bar when a man jumped out of a car and punched him, knocking him to the ground. Kennedy died nearly 17 hours later of injuries sustained during the assault.

Kennedy2The arrest warrant for Moller said “investigators believe the assault was due to the victim’s sexual orientation” according to GreenvilleOnline.

The paper reports: “Master Deputy Michael Hildebrand said the case has been turned over to the FBI who will determine whether or not to proceed with a hate crime investigation. South Carolina doesn’t have a statute that covers hate crimes, so a federal agency would have to make the charges, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Hildebrand said that witnesses and ‘other investigative means’ led investigators to Moller. Through the investigation, deputies believe that Moller made a comment about Kennedy’s sexual orientation either before or during the assault, according to Hildebrand and the warrant.”

Moller is being detained without bond at Greenville County Detention Center.

Arrest Made In Connection With Death Of Man At Bar [news channel 7 – greenville]
Taylors man arrested in bar death [greenville online]
Thanks to Towleroad readers for pointing me to the updates on this.


  1. Brian says

    He’s kinda cute in a thuggish, skinhead sort of way. They’ll love him in prison.

  2. Joe T. says

    Yes, kinda cute, Brian, in that thuggish way. Probably a real asshole, though. Bet he didn’t expect a punch would kill (which you gotta admit is flukey). (R I P Kennedy).

  3. GregB says

    One punch is all it takes.My brother was murdered this very same way.Leaving a straight bar.

  4. Joe T. says

    I swear, I never heard about that, until now. (But sorry to hear it, re. your brother, my guy).

  5. Rob (lrdarystar) says

    I’m just glad Moller is old enough to be an adult. Still, where are his parents? What the hell did they teach their kid?

  6. sw says

    This is so, so sad. A young guy just out trying to have fun, another young guy, albeit a stupid one, making a horrible mistake. It breaks the heart, truly, and I feel so badly for both these boys’ parents.

  7. says

    This is so sad.

    The husband grew up in Greenville and his parents still live there. I love going down to Greenville to visit the in-laws with our son. Our second son was born a week ago and hasn’t had a chance to make a visit yet. It’s a very pretty small city with a recently spruced up downtown (if you get a chance, try a very good restaurnt called “O”). We aren’t particularly social when we go down, we tend just to spend time with the family, but the few people we’ve met in the city have been very friendly. We’ve taken our son to the city’s playgrounds as well as to the mall and played with him in the mall’s children’s play area without incident. Scary to think stuff like this can happen.

    What a shame. I’m very happy they made an arrest.

  8. Jack! says

    I’m glad gay men don’t have the stereotype of being weak. Oh wait we do. My f%ckin’ god! When you have responses like that of Brian’s and SW’s I can see why people think gay men are weak.

    I feel sorry for what happened to Sean Kennedy and those that loved him. It’s very tragic.

  9. Brian says

    Hey Jack – you don’t have to be weak to get raped in prison. You just have to be outnumbered.

    Yes, it’s tragic. That’s why I’m glad the perp will suffer during incarceration.

    Nothing weak about that.

  10. Jack! says

    Brian I highly doubt he’ll be raped in prison. I think he’ll be getting a lot of high-fives and congratulations.

  11. TODD says

    I live in this area and this murder is a result of the hate that is preached from the pulpits of many of the churches here. This area is also overwhelmingly Republican. When there is so much hate being preached this type of crime is bound to happen. Most people don’t die from it. Most people are just severely beaten. Believe me, this crime will not affect the majority of people here in the least. Most of them will say the guy had it coming. It’s a sad fact. This is not a friendly area of the country. Although tonight on the news the police were speaking intelligently of this crime which was quite surprising. I really feel for Sean’s family and friends. It sounds like he was a great person.

  12. John Kennedy says

    As the brother of the victim..i just want everyone to know he was an amazing person..he left a footprint on the heart of everyone he came in contact with…anyone who has ever met sean…knows he was a special kid…i love you sean…RIP

  13. Zeke says

    John, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. This was such a terrible and unnecessary tragedy.

    Thank you for taking the time to stop by here to share something so personal with us.

  14. Joe T. says

    Todd: How do you know that that was the motive for the crime? Do you even know if Moller was a church-goer? Maybe he picked up homophobia from rap music, for all we know.

  15. Joe T. says

    John: All the best and God bless your brother’s memory, and you and your family getting through this rough period. -Joe

  16. Becks07 says

    John, I hope you and your family get justice for this terrible injustice done to your brother. This loss will never make sense, but may your brother’s spirit be as a catalyst: for sowing tolerance where, today, hate deepens its roots.

    I also hope I speak for many here when I share with you that, should you choose to create a foundation or memorial for your brother, you’d have plenty of support — spiritual and financial — as we can give it.

    Bless your family.

  17. pacificoceanboy says

    Peace be with your family during this tragic time.

    That said. It is ok to yell and scream. It is ok to break something. It is ok to rage against the injustice of it all. Don’t hold back the tears but also don’t hold back just yelling out your frustration, pain, and anger. It is very natural, normal, healthy, and human.

  18. pacificoceanboy says


    I didn’t mean yell at each other. :-) I menat yelling at the sky…. just yelling and letting your anger and pain over this out.

    Though I am not a big supporter of the bible, I will aknowledge that the way some in their mouring were portrayed is very healthy…..drop to the ground, rub dust in your hair, wail away and let it all out. do not bottle up your justifiable feelings. You do not have to “suck it up”. You do not have to “get over it”. It is perfectly natural and healthy to be angry to be furious.

  19. John Kennedy says


    We have decided to start a gathering of money to give to a charity or to help with starting a bill to get laws agianst hate-crime punishment…not just agianst gays..just agianst hate crimes peroid. weve told everyone that would like to give flowers instead donate to the charity or bill in seans name. We believe sean died for a reason. and the reason will change the world.

  20. CK says

    John, my condolences to you and your family too… what happened to Sean was really tragic, wrong and unneccesary. I am very glad that they arrested the hateful person that committed the crime. Please let us know details of the charity or the bill once they are established so that we can help where we can.

  21. EireKev says

    My condolences also to John and the other friends and family of Sean. Stay strong in the difficult times ahead.

  22. Giovanni says

    I am sorry for your tragic loss John – my heart goes out to you and your family. You honor your brother by posting here and sounding the battle cry. Tough times ahead but you’ll get through it.

  23. says

    May God who is beyond all understanding, bless and keep Sean in His tender love and mercy, as he waits but a moment for the arrival of his family and friends who love him. May our Lord sear love and understanding into the hearts of those who hate in His name, and may He show them the errors of their ways. What may be preached from the pulpits in that area and in others, is the perverted word of God, and not the message of Jesus Christ. Jerry Falwell has since learned that error as will all others who hate in His holy name.

  24. Justin says

    I was a friend of Sean’s. We knew eachother a little over a year. I just want to thank everyone for the kind words about him and ask that you all be respectful of his memory. And I just want to say in a public setting that I forgive Stephen. Please keep everyone involved in your prayers.
    God’s peace,

  25. Justin says

    Also, if you would, scroll up and read John’s post about the foundation being made in Sean’s memory. Please donate what you can as I will be doing. We can make Sean’s death something good for the world and honor him by saving others if we work together.
    God’s peace,

  26. John Kennedy says

    Here is the information as far as the charity’s name and who to make check out to and what not. Very shortly we will be having a website either or…ill keep u up to date on that.

    Write checks to

    Sean’s Last Wish
    CPM Federal Credit Union
    P.O. Box 2297
    Greer SC 29652

    Email with any questions.