Michigan Killer of Gay Man Guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter


Steven Scarborough, a 22-year-old Tennessee man, who faced a felony murder charge that carries a life without parole sentence in the killing of 62-year-old Victor Manious in Grand Rapids, Michigan, got off easily yesterday when a jury found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter which carries a maximum 15 years in prison.

ManiousmurderScarborough’s attorneys used a “gay panic” defense, suggesting that the murder was a reaction to Manious’ sexual advances. Prosecutors had said that Scarborough lured Manious from a gay bar to his friend’s apartment with intent to rob him, but ended up murdering him. Manious’ body was found in the trunk of his car, and Scarborough spent the days following the murder shopping, traveling, and dining with Manious’ credit cards.

The Grand Rapids Press reports: “Upon hearing the verdict, Scarborough hugged his lawyer, Paul Denenfeld, and smiled. His mother, Veronica Hand, in court with her husband, Michael, wept. Grand Rapids Police Detective Kristen Rogers, who interviewed Scarborough once he was apprehended, put her head in her hands. Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Helen Brinkman said she would tell the Manious family she did her best. ‘I just wish the jury would have known about his previous record and that he came to Michigan to flee the conviction,’ she said. Denenfeld said the jury was aware of his previous record and obviously believed that he was a victim of an assault.”

Verdict in Steven Scarborough case: Guilty of voluntary manslaughter of Victor Manious [the grand rapids press]


  1. Disgusted American says

    I will NEVER go to Michigan…this is just ANOTHER reason to NEVER go there. Fuck them…another “Hatin”,Bigoted state in this country to avoid!

  2. says

    Imagine what the verdict may have been if this were a country that prized fact based comprehensive compulsory sex education throught primary and secondary school. Maybe, just maybe, an educated jury would have seen through the homosexual panic defense.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    Absolutely horrible. It should remind us of the criminal trials down south when murderers and rapists were acquitted because of the race of the victim. Today, in some parts of this country, I guess gay people’s lives are less valuable too.

  4. JT says

    I live in Lansing…about fifty miles from Grand Rapids. Andy’s coverage of this is the first I’ve heard about it. Grand Rapids is home to the Reformed Church…one of the most conservative Protestant denominations, so the verdict doesn’t really surprise me. I’m tempted to tell “Disgusted American” to try to be a little less dismissive of an entire state, but I’ll avoid that direct confrontation.

    Michigan is a bit of a mess—both economically and socially. Our Republican Senate is fiscally obstructionist and our Republican Attorney General is a homophobic prick. (His last name is Cox!) The frightening thing is that he’s angling to be the next governor. Oh, yeah, don’t forget that our voters decided to make civil unions essentially illegal…and to outlaw affirmative action! Hmm, maybe “Disgusted American” has a point.

  5. Joe H says

    This is alarming. Keep in mind that seven years of the Bush Administration packing the courts with right wing social conservatives both trickles down, and does nothing to weed out existing biases against gays and lesbians. This was a state-sanctioned murder of a gay man in cold blood — the victim was lured out of a gay bar, unlike Matthew Shepherd, who was looking for sex in a straight bar. I’m not blaming Shepherd for his death, but rather drawing a comparison. Scarborough was even “more guilty” than those punks in Wyoming. Mr. Manious was an older, “ethnic” man unlikely to get the sympathy of the gay community, just like he didn’t get any from the jury. He should, and we should be pissed.

  6. JeffNYC says

    This is disgusting. Democrats–please don’t disenfranchise Michigan in the primary now. That will only send more Michigaders over to the Republican side. We need them on our side–100%

    Rest in peace, Victor Manious. Your death by a hate crime could have been any of ours.

  7. noah says

    “State-sanctioned murder”? Obviously, the prosecutors and the detectives on this case would disagree since they investigated and prosecuted the killer.

    The problem is the jury. Their bigotry led them to this conclusion. The defense attorney successfully painted a portrait of the murder victim as an evil, homo-rapist who victimized a young man. Look at the victim. He was an older, Egyptian/Arab man. Then look at the killer. He is a young, handsome white guy. Don’t you think that race played some part in the jury’s mind, consciously or subconsciously?

    Over the last few months the Clinton campaign engaged in vicious race-baiting to win. The campaign has used racial hatred to create a wedge issue. Many liberals had no problem with Geraldine Ferraro’s comments. Yeah, no one has died. But it’s the same kind of xenophobic hatred that has historically led to discrimination, violence, and murder. (I have no problem attacking a candidate for his/her policy positions or other factors but attacking someone based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, color, or religion, and it’s a different story.)

    In the 2004 presidential campaign, the Rethugs sent thousands of mailings that promised that gays would destroy the nuclear family to Bible Belt homes. The fear mongering and hatred brought millions of people to the polls to vote for Rethug candidates. What was the legacy of this hateful campaign tactic that demonized and dehumanized gay Americans? People like the jurors who couldn’t look at murder victim as a real human being. They didn’t look at the man who had a family, friends, and a good life.

    Instead, they saw a homosexual, who led a secret, perverted life and must have been a predator who would knock out and orally rape a nice young man. Add on the murder victim’s race and otherness as a foreigner and you have the perfect storm for a miscarriage of justice.

    What happened in Michigan could happen almost anywhere. People like the jurors could be like people at your office or sitting across from you in class or riding on the train next to you. Substitute race or religion or ethnicity for sexuality and injustice is still injustice.

    Miscarriages of justice happen every day: The person denied a job. The kid who is bullied and beaten. The innocent person falsely accused and incarcerated. Unless people make a stand against bigotry in all its forms, nothing will change.

  8. Disgusted American says

    Hey JT – yes, your state of Michigan is VERY Anti-Gay..as far as the “miniscule” of equality it offers…which is barely ZILCH…cracks me up to see Jeff Daniels pushing Businesses to come to Michigan…Yea, ONLY IF you’re Heterosexual..with ONLY heterosexual employees…because if you’re gay forget RIGHTS.

  9. the queen says

    well like i said yesterday, us old queens and anybody else for that matter better be careful of the young eye candy … maybe we should start a national registry for queen killers like the straights do for the child molesters… is there a queen killer in your neighborhood?

  10. says

    While this is certainly an atrocity, please don’t punish the whole state. Come to Saugatuck Tread and see that everyone can’t be thrown together in the same category. Saugatuck/Douglas is such a wonderful haven and so different from much of the State. (country for that matter).
    This is just one more example of the result of not only mixing church and state but church running state.

  11. Landon Bryce says

    Many liberals had no problem with Geraldine Ferrarro’s comments because they know who she is. She’s been saying for decades that she would not have been the vice presidential nominee if she were male. I read her comment as saying the same thing about Obama that she has repeatedly said about herself. Younger people and those with convenient memories objected to her statement because they do not understand who she is and apparently do not know that neither Clinton nor Obama would be where they are now if not for her. Although the words said could be interpreted as racist, only someone with no knowledge of who Ferrarro is would give her words that interpretation. The Obama campaign succeeded in making an issue out of this because so many of his supporters are young, ignorant about politics, or both.

    And using this travesty of justice to slam the Clinton campaign is simply insane. This is an Emmett Till verdict. That’s the race connection here.

  12. Landon Bryce says

    And, on the humorless scold theme, I find the jokes about prison rape pretty offensive. It’s an evil we should be fighting, not a perverted form of justice or a subject for snickers.

  13. the queen says

    ha landon, get real …. prison rape is par for the course behind bars — you know those men get awfully lonely and frisky… besides it’s the perfect karma for the little bastard and he’ll probably get it twice on sundays…

  14. David R. says

    And while the prison sentence is disappointing, it is progress that the Gay Panic Defense probably reduced prison time, but didn’t stop a conviction as it would have in the past.

  15. RB says

    I am sick of the “gay panic” defense! What about he man that is dead? What defense does he have? Pathetic, insulting and wrong!!! Bottom line, Steven Scarborough murdered a man. MURDERED…there is no defense!

    When we are no longer second class citizens or the “entertainment” this will not cease! Pathetic…

  16. snowisfun says

    Unsure about the facts of the Steven Willis Scarborough case, but the jury made it’s decision on voluntary manslaughter after hearing both the prosecution & the defense.

    But if a homosexual is going to harass & touch another man’s groin, the man has a right to defend himself against homolestation incl. deadly force if needed to protect himself.

    If a homosexual is going to harass men in a public restroom, well there’s no need for a man to say no to what the homosexual had no right to do in the 1st place. Harassment & disorderly conduct are crimes. Some of the homosexuals who get killed in ‘homophobic violence’ incidents get killed because homosexuals harass & abuse men & the men react by beating up or even killing the homosexual. People have a right to protect themselves from homolestation , words such as ‘unwanted sexual advances’ are euphemisms for sex abuse & harassment.

    Again, whether a man is to be convicted of 1st Degree Murder, 2nd Degree Murder or Manslaughter is matter for juries to decide. We don’t know the facts of the Steven Scarborough case, but if his victim Victor Manious really was homolesting him or harassing him, then Steven Scarborough had a right to use any reasonable means to protect himself, though in his case, deadly force wasn’t justified, even if homosexual groups & evil lesbian radio hostess Tammy Bruce who is an apologist for child molestation when it’s homosexual in nature dislikes it.

  17. snowisfun says

    On an added note, homophobic violence cases are synonymous to dog bite cases, each case must be judged individually. For eg. if a dog bites you with no provocation on your part, then it’s the dog’s fault. On the other hand, if a you harass or abuse a dog & the dog attacks & bites you, then it’s your fault.

    With homophobic violence cases, if a person goes out & beats up or kills a homosexual w/o any provocation, then yes, the man commiitted a more serious offense. On the other hand, if a homoseuxal is going to harass a man or touch a man against his will & the man beats up or kills the homoseuxal, then the degree is less or perhaps an acquittal if it’s self-defense.

    If a homo is going to harass a man in a public restroom, the homosexual is committing a crime of harassment & disorderly conduct for which he must be jailed. If the man reacts by beating up or even killing the homosexual, then no, it’s not justified (unless there’s a violent threat or violence) but there’s comprehension into why it happened. The homosexual had no right to harass him in the 1st place. The bathroom is the place to use the toilet & wash up.

    Some people say that the man should just say ‘no thanks’ but this is a weak answer. There’s no need for a man to say ‘no thanks’ to what the homosexual didn’t have a right to do in the 1st place, just as a store owner doesn’t need to tell customers ‘don’t steal’. There’s no need to say no to another person committing a crime.

    Again, this isn’t so much about the Steven Scarborough case. 1 poster mentions straight harassment. It must be said that men who harass women are already punished by the law be it sexual harassment lawsuits, jail time, etc. Men who harass women usu. don’t have apologist groups. If a homosexual is going to harass other men in public restrooms such as Larry Craig case, then the homosexual really needs to go to jail. If the homosexual gets beaten up, then no, it’s not justified, however, I can’t empathize with a homosexual who gets beaten up after he has been harassing some1.

    Could Steven Scarborough have been threated with homolestation by Victor Manious? Only Steven Scarborough really knows why he killed Victor Manious & the jury came back with voluntary manslaughter. Finally, if science discovers a cure for homosexuality & GID, then that’s fine with me & I wouldn’t lose sleep if homosexuality disappeared & if sex change maimings disappeared, then that’s fine with me too.

  18. snowisfun says

    This is an added thought as to is killing a homosexual after he harasses another man in a public restroom self-defense? Well that’s a jury issue & to elaborate more.

    The bathroom again is the place to use the toilet & washup, not have sex & there’s a time & place for everything. If a homosexual is going to be anti-social & ‘proposition’ (euphemism for harassment) another man in a public restroom, what’s to say that the homo can’t get more violent if the doesn’t get his way? Such situations can be unpredictable & it’s hard to know what can he also do.

    A man must be concerned about this & if he reacts by beating up or killing the homosexual, then he may have a case for self-defense or if the jury believes he should be convicted of manslaughter rather than 2nd Degree Murder, then so be it.

    But even with ‘propositions’, if a homo does it over & over, it can become harassment. For eg. a homosexual propositions another man in a pub. The man says ‘no thanks.’ Now this should be the end of it. However the homosexual continues to proposition him again, follow the man & the man reacts by beating up or killing the homosexual man. Did he kill the homo in self-defense? Again it would be a jury topic. The homosexual is committing the crime of harassment, stalking & what’s to say that he can’t commit a more violent act?

    Some of the posters most likely homos are upset because an anti-social homosexual got beaten up or killed after the homosexual engaged in a criminal act, because it’s possible some of the homosexuals who post here have engaged in such anti-social conduct & complain when some get beaten up or killed after the homosexual has committed a crime.

    Dead homosexuals can’t commit any more homosexual acts & more importantly, they can’t homolest any young boys, so the incidence of homolestation & homosexual rape does go down when a homosexual dies. Finally, & this will offend some of you, IMO the punishment for rape & child molestation must be more when it’s homosexual & lesbian in nature. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m against men raping women & girls & I’m also against women committing statutory rape on teenage boys & against women raping men. Since I’m against same sex behaviors & transexuality, homolestation is worse.

  19. snowisfun says

    On a final note, with regard to the Steven Scarborough trial, it’s better to have a case where a jury decides whether a man’s reaction in beating up or killing a homoman is reasonable or excessive force, vs. having a case where the homo commits a more violent crime such as stabbing or homosexual rape if he doesn’t get his way.

    If Steven Scarborough’s story is true, then his victim Victor Manious was committing a crime & with Victor Manious’s death, Victor Manious won’t be able to repeat his crime. No, we’re not witnesses & thus can’t verify nor deny Steven Scarborough’s story, but regardless, it’s better to have a dead homo & then leave it to a jury to decide than to have a homosexual rape. Dead homosexuals can’t commit any more homolestations.

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