Man Guilty of Murder in Death of Elmira, NY Gay Bar Owner
(image star gazette)
Back in May I posted about the murder of Clinton "Billy" Lewis, beloved local activist and owner of the Elmira, NY gay bar Club Chill, who was slain in his own home by 21-year-old Louis M. Duffy after the two had consensual sex.
Last night, Duffy was found guilty of murder:
The jury convicted Duffy, 21, of Horseheads, of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after about two and a half hours of deliberation in Chemung County Court.
The Corning Leader summarizes the trial:
In his testimony, Duffy said a molestation “flashback,” coupled with his first homosexual experience, caused him to shoot Lewis after the pair had sex. Duffy said he was abused by his adoptive grandfather when he was in the second and third grades. Duffy said he went to stay with Lewis the morning of the killing because Lewis had offered him a construction job the following day at a lakehouse. He said he had no intention of having sex with Lewis, but when Lewis started kissing him, “I let it go on,” Duffy said.
Duffy testified that he’s still unsure of his sexuality – he’s still attracted to women but has homosexual “tendencies.” He said he began having thoughts of sex with men in 11th grade, but he never experimented before his encounter with Lewis.
“I didn’t want it to happen with him,” Duffy testified. “I didn’t want to try it with him.”
After the experience, Duffy said he felt uncomfortable and ashamed, and when Lewis said the sex was going to continue and allegedly grabbed Duffy by the throat and shoulder, Duffy grabbed a gun from his backpack and fired.
With a confession and substantial physical evidence linking Duffy to the crime, Thweatt attacked Duffy’s credibility and believability. Thweatt pointed out a jailhouse letter Duffy wrote to a woman in which he said he’d lie in court to get out of jail sooner. Also, he told the woman not to believe the “gay stuff” that would come out at the trial.
Duffy faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.