Philadelphia Hub




Lawyers for Philly Gay Bashing Trio to Ask for Charges to Be Dropped or Lowered

Philly

Lawyers for the trio of individuals accused in the September 11 assault on a gay couple in City Center, Philadelphia are expected to argue at an upcoming hearing for charges to be dropped or reduced, CBS Philly reports

Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Philip Williams were charged with various counts of aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy for their role in a brutal attack on a gay couple that left one victim with facial fractures and a jaw that had to be wired shut. 

CBS Philly adds:

Defense lawyer Louis Busico, who represents the 24-year-old Knott, says all of the defendants maintain their innocence:

“Perhaps some of the charges may never see a courtroom, or they all may. That’s the purpose of reviewing discovery.”

Defense lawyers are expected to argue at the next hearing, set for April 16th, that the conspiracy charges should be dropped and other charges reduced.

Prosecutors contend the three were part of a larger group that yelled slurs and confronted the two gay men “because of who they are.”

You'll recall the Philadelphia City Council reacted to the anti-gay beating by unanimously approving a measure that would provide additional penalties for future crimes motivated by hatred regarding sexual orientation, gender identity or disabilities.


Charges Against Philadelphia Gay-Bashing Trio Read In Court This Week

Philip Williams, Kevin Harrigan, and Kathryn Knott

Last September a trio of horrible people were arrested on charges of assaulting a gay couple in Center City, Philadelphia, resulting in the hospitalization of the gay couple.  Due to lack of LGBT protections in Pennsylvania the assailants cannot be brought up on charges of hate crimes, so they have been arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person (REAP). Phillip Williams and Kevin Harrigan are also charged with conspiracy.

Philadelphia Gay News reports:

A judge last month upheld all charges against the three, who have been out on bail since shortly after their Sept. 24 arrest. In the fall, Philadelphia adopted an LGBT-inclusive hate-crime law, but none of the defendants can be charged under it, since it was enacted after the incident. However, at last month’s preliminary hearing, assistant district attorney Michael Barry, who is prosecuting the case, emphasized that the suspects’ alleged anti-LGBT animus was a primary factor in the crime, and served as the basis for the conspiracy charge.

The trial isn't due to start until later this year, but we will be reporting on it once it begins.


Club Doorman Assaulted In Philly Gayborhood: VIDEO

Assault Suspects

On December 27th a doorman and bartender from Philadelphia's 12th St. gay bar Tabu encountered a party of five individuals at approximately 2:40am near 12th and Chestnut streets. After a brief verbal altercation, the groups went in opposite directions, until two men from the larger group turned around to physically assault the Tabu employees, as Philly Mag reports.

After the scuffle the doorman was left unconscious for several minutes on the ground. The man was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries including bleeding on the brain. He has since been discharged from the hospital, but Tabu owner Jeffrey Sotland says that he is on a long road to recovery.

A benefit is being planned for Saturday, January 21st at 9pm at Tabu.

The descriptions of the assailants according to the Philadelphia police are as follows: 

Suspect #1: White male of Middle Eastern or Indian descent, 20 years-of-age, 6’0″-6’2″, 280 lbs., black hair, brown eyes, beard with mustache, wearing a black jacket with a gold colored zipper, and black jeans.

Suspect #2: White male, 20 years-of-age, 5’6″-5’8″, 140 lbs, light brown hair with a long pony tail, wearing a black leather jacket with several zippers, and blue jeans.

If you think you might be able to identify the assailants, you can view the surveillance video AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Club Doorman Assaulted In Philly Gayborhood: VIDEO" »


Philly Gay Bashing Suspects Held On All Charges, Will Be Back In Court On January 6

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6eaf522970b-800wi

The three suspects accused in a heinous attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia on September 11 will stand trial on charges of felony assault and conspiracy, among other charges, Philadelphia Magazine reports. As previously reported, the defendants are 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 24-year-old Philip Williams. Today's preliminary hearing was to determine whether the prosecution had met the burden of proof required to charge and try the defendants. Judge Charles Hayden Found they had:

The defendants, who previously pleaded not guilty and remain out on bail, appeared in the courtroom with their families, with Knott’s mother crying throughout many points of the proceeding. State Representative Brian Sims was also in attendance in the courtroom, which was crowded but not full.

Two witnesses testified today for the prosecution. Geoff Nagle observed the attack from a third floor window and stated that he heard "cursing and yelling in male and female voices, including language such as 'fucking faggot.'" The other witness was one of the two victims, Zachary Hesse:

Hesse said that when the pair encountered the group at 16th and Chancellor, Harrigan asked, "Is that your fucking boyfriend?" "I said, 'Yeah, that is my fucking boyfriend," he testified. "'Do you have a problem with that?'" Then he testified that Harrigan said, "'So you're a dirty fucking faggot?' So I approached him and said, 'Maybe I am a dirty fucking faggot.' He pushed me, I pushed him."

Then Hesse says that he was surrounded by the group. "I was terrified," he testified. "It's scary to have people surround you, and your arms are being held."

Before closing the hearing Judge Hayden wished all of the defendants "good luck."

Formal arraignment for the plaintiffs is scheduled for January 6th.


Philly Gay Bashing Suspects Held On All Charges, Will Be Back In Court On January 6

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6eaf522970b-800wi

The three suspects accused in a heinous attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia on September 11 will stand trial on charges of felony assault and conspiracy, among other charges, Philadelphia Magazine reports. As previously reported, the defendants are 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 24-year-old Philip Williams. Today's preliminary hearing was to determine whether the prosecution had met the burden of proof required to charge and try the defendants. Judge Charles Hayden Found they had:

The defendants, who previously pleaded not guilty and remain out on bail, appeared in the courtroom with their families, with Knott’s mother crying throughout many points of the proceeding. State Representative Brian Sims was also in attendance in the courtroom, which was crowded but not full.

Two witnesses testified today for the prosecution. Geoff Nagle observed the attack from a third floor window and stated that he heard "cursing and yelling in male and female voices, including language such as 'fucking faggot.'" The other witness was one of the two victims, Zachary Hesse:

Hesse said that when the pair encountered the group at 16th and Chancellor, Harrigan asked, "Is that your fucking boyfriend?" "I said, 'Yeah, that is my fucking boyfriend," he testified. "'Do you have a problem with that?'" Then he testified that Harrigan said, "'So you're a dirty fucking faggot?' So I approached him and said, 'Maybe I am a dirty fucking faggot.' He pushed me, I pushed him."

Then Hesse says that he was surrounded by the group. "I was terrified," he testified. "It's scary to have people surround you, and your arms are being held."

Before closing the hearing Judge Hayden wished all of the defendants "good luck."

Formal arraignment for the plaintiffs is scheduled for January 6th.


Philly Gay Bashing Suspects Due In Court Today: VIDEO

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6eaf522970b-800wi

The trio of individuals accused in the September 11 assault on a gay couple in City Center, Philadelphia, are in court today for a preliminary hearing. The defendants, 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 24-year-old Philip Williams, are accused of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy. All three have plead not guilty. 

From Philadelphia Magazine: 

Here’s what we can expect to happen: The case will be brought before a municipal court judge to determine if there was probable cause to arrest the suspects in September. Attorney for Kevin Harrigan, Josh Scarpello, tells me, “we won’t decide the truth of the matter in that first hearing. It is a probable-cause hearing to establish if the case should go to trial.”

If the case goes to trial — and if no plea bargain is reached — Scarpello suggests that there might not be a trial date until well into the new year. "The earliest would be February or March," he says. "If it's scheduled to be a jury trial, it could take even longer."

The AP also reports that the defendants contest the plaintiff's version of the assault: "Defense lawyers insist that both parties played a role in the encounter, and say the men's sexual orientation wasn't an issue." Despite these claims, reports have abounded that the fight was preceded by homophobic slurs hurled against the victims by the defendants. You’ll also recall the social media sleuthing done by activist Scott Wooledge who dug into accused attacker Kathryn Knott’s Twitter account and found a history of homophobic remarks. 

Social media played a large role in the case from the onset, with the individuals being identified by social media sleuths looking to hunt down the perpetrators of the heinous assault. 

The accused will not face hate crimes charges as Pennsylvania does not currently have hate crimes legislation on the books that covers sexual orientation. However, that may change if State Rep. Brian Sims and State Sen. Jim Ferlo have their way.

Watch a news report on the hearing, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Philly Gay Bashing Suspects Due In Court Today: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged