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D.C. Man Charged with Misdemeanor in Fatal Assault of Gay Man

Kill a gay man in D.C., use a 'gay panic' defense, and you're off scot free.

Last October I posted about the arrest of 18-year-old Robert Hannah for the assault of a gay man on his way to meet friends at Be Bar in Washington D.C. Hannah claims that 27-year-old Tony Hunter made a sexual advance toward him which led to Hannah punching Hunter to the ground. Hunter died of his injuries ten days later in the hospital.

Hannah A D.C. Superior Court yesterday indicted Hannah with a misdemeanor assault charge, WJLA reports:

"Even though Tony Hunter's murder was initially investigated as a hate crime, it was never officially declared in court. On Thursday, the 18-year-old charged with the crime pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor...Community activist Keith Jarrell believes Thursday's indictment sends an alarming message that violence against the gay and lesbian community is accepted. 'The city has turned [its] back on the gay community in many aspects,' he said. Bill Gray, the new owner of the bar, says he's now afraid his customers are being targeted. 'We have beefed up security. We have undercover security walking around the block constantly when we're open,' he said. Hannah's lawyer argued that his client was touched inappropriately by the victim. Still, everyone ABC 7 News spoke with Thursday night is in agreement that's no reason to severely beat a man."

WJLA report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously
Arrest Made in Beating Death of Gay Man in Washington D.C. [tr]

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Comments

  1. Just another dead faggot so who gives a rat's ass, right?

    Posted by: The Phoenix | Jul 17, 2009 1:19:54 PM


  2. When a look or a wink or even the faintest and most innocent physical contact can be construed by straight men as attempted rape, then there is no place for gays in our legal system AS LONG AS THAT LEGAL SYSTEM IS DOMINATED BY FRIGHTENED LITTLE "STRAIGHT" MEN.

    Perhaps we need to stop waiting for someone to assault us, perhaps we need to stop waiting for justice.

    Vigilantism against gays is condoned and encouraged (primarily by people of "faith").

    Time to get out your pepper spray and stun guns, kids. The legal system IS NOT THERE for us!!

    Posted by: MikeinSanJose | Jul 17, 2009 1:30:16 PM


  3. Thankfully, the intellectual side of me stops me but the emotional side of me wants to just get a bunch of people and get the justice we deserve..

    Posted by: Trace | Jul 17, 2009 1:39:44 PM


  4. I'm with MikeInSanJose on this one.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jul 17, 2009 1:50:34 PM


  5. THE HETEROSEXUAL DICTATORSHIP

    What situations like this and the heterosexual-only constitutional amendments and the gay bar raids say is heterosexuals want to control EVERY aspect of a gay person's life. Heterosexuals lord over gay people.

    BTW, there was ZERO evidence presented that the victim ever touched the haterosexual killer(s). The haterosexual jury because they have a prejudice that gay people are purposefully provocative just believed the haterosexual killer no questions asked.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 17, 2009 1:53:07 PM


  6. If he truly is guilty.. may he not have one moment's rest upon this earth the rest of his days....

    Posted by: Darren | Jul 17, 2009 1:53:18 PM


  7. This is SLOPPY on Andy's part.

    Hanna wasn't indicted on Simple Assault, he was indicted on Involuntary Manslaughter and entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge. Right or wrong, get the facts straight.

    Although I don't practice in DC, I believe that involuntary manslaughter is only a misdemeanor offense anyway, so considering the potential sentencing options, this plea agreement was hardly something I myself wouldn't ask for on behalf of a client.

    Here's a more complete article on the topic:

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2008/10/23/hannah-case-downgraded-to-involuntary-manslaughter/

    Posted by: DR | Jul 17, 2009 2:02:37 PM


  8. What is so frustrating is that the killers of gay people never show any remorse. Their friends and their families--even their mothers-- make them believe that the killing of gay people is ok.

    "the faggot had no business messin' with him," is what they say. It's the same "gay panic" lie--just told in a different vernacular.

    The savage will get what's coming to him eventually. If he was middle-class or upper-class he might get away with a gay-bashing murder, and go on to lead his life. But this society has no more mercy for him then he had for his gay victim. He'll either be dead or in prison by age 30, and so be it.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 17, 2009 2:09:38 PM


  9. I hope he spends the rest of his miserable, worthless life constantly looking over HIS shoulder.

    Posted by: Alexander | Jul 17, 2009 2:16:56 PM


  10. Dan White got a verdict of manslaughter using the Twinkie defense and was out on the streets 5 years later. The end result is that he killed himself and did society a favor. May this kid have the same fate after murdering an innocent man.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Jul 17, 2009 2:49:37 PM


  11. There's a difference between beating someone to death and punching someone, which makes them fall and hit their head, accidentally killing them. The case was clearly not murder, it was manslaughter at best, unless you've got some facts not in evidnce from the story. And I'm sorry, but if you grab someone's genitalia agaisnt their will(which is sexual assault BTW) a punch often is the response. The lawyer was right, if a woman was grabbed that way and punched the man there would be no question as to whether that was warranted. The guy died in a freak accident as a result of a fight(where there is some doubt as to who started it), he wasn't murdered.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jul 17, 2009 2:54:16 PM


  12. I agree with Mikeinsanjose! But i would choose a defensive measure greater then stun guns and mace! there would be a list of who needs a wake up call to justice!!

    Posted by: alex in boston | Jul 17, 2009 2:54:45 PM


  13. "And I'm sorry, but if you grab someone's genitalia agaisnt their will(which is sexual assault BTW) a punch often is the response"

    Kevin,

    I don't care if I was drunk as a skunk walking with a crowd of other queens, I am not going to grab at the cock of some street hoodlum walking with 2 other thugs. Most gay people (black, white, Latino, Eskimo) know that gay-bashers LIE after they've committed violence against gay people. They claim that we "came on" to them and so they had to stab us 50 times, or bust open our heads with baseball bats.

    "grab someone's genitalia"

    humph, I wouldn't want to touch that ugly motha' fucka'....looks like he doesn't even know what soap and toothpaste is.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 17, 2009 3:06:14 PM


  14. The only trait I see in common with all gay-bashers is that they always seem to have previous long criminal records. Which suggests that gay-bashers are sort of dangerously anti-social to begin with..?

    Posted by: JoeTynan | Jul 17, 2009 3:24:51 PM


  15. Isn't the area, the bar is located in, a ghetto? Most likely the perp instigated the fight by insulting the deceased, who replyed with a comment of his own. It escalated from there.
    I wish there were a DC vigilante group. Imagine a gay Irgun, awsome !

    Posted by: hadassah weinreb | Jul 17, 2009 6:06:37 PM


  16. @KEVIN,
    is the grabbing of someone's genitalia in evidence? was it the truth?

    but that is beyond the point, really. grabbing someone's crotch is an offense, but it is not a violent offense. punching someone in the face is. if that punch leads to death, it is murder. why is it that if a man gets into a fight with his wife/girlfriend and punches her in the stomach causing a miscarriage, he is found guilty of murder? oh yeah, it is because the victim is not a known homosexual.

    i am sick and tired of the moral relativism that permeates the judicial system -- crimes against hets, bad; crimes against 'mos, not so much.

    Posted by: nic | Jul 17, 2009 8:48:47 PM


  17. Nic - it's not murder to punch someone in the face if you do not have the intent to kill them. It's manslaughter. That's the law and that is the law for everyone, gay or straight. And it makes sense. We don't charge someone for murder, if that isn't what they committed. This guy was trash for sure and he certainly deserves time for taking a life...but after watching the video and doing a little research, it's clear that one punch to the face and the death resulting from the head injury from the fall indicates there was no intent to kill. Whether or not it was provoked is irrelevant because he was charged with involuntary manslaughter, which is what this seems to be. Get mad that the DA allowed him to plead down to a lesser charge if you want - demand that the city stop letting people do that in these situations. But all indications are this isn't murder.

    And as for the person questioning the location - Be Bar is in what was a few years ago a seedy neighborhood, but it has changed dramatically over the last few years. It's no more or less safe there than anywhere else in that city. I lived a block from Be Bar and it isn't the ghetto, boo boo. Be Bar is a block from the Convention Center and is pretty well lit street. Now if you travel one or two blocks east of there, you might not be making the best decision. But you can just as easily get mugged on 18th and U as there.

    Posted by: Alex | Jul 18, 2009 1:14:57 PM


  18. Can someone please find this a-hole and take him out?

    Posted by: ty | Jul 18, 2009 2:21:12 PM


  19. RIP Tony Hunter

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 19, 2009 4:05:52 AM


  20. I'm so fucking sick of every thug who decides he wants to stab, punch, shoot a gay guy getting in the court room and claiming the gay guy touched/"came onto me" and it works every time because the other side of the story can't be told.

    Posted by: Jake | Jul 19, 2009 2:01:01 PM


  21. we need some justice. Am i the only one who realizes that thugs don't fear jail anymore? Where's the deterrent?

    Posted by: Grego | Jul 20, 2009 11:06:18 AM


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