Last October I posted about the arrest of 18-year-old Robert Hanna
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 Hanna punching Hunter to the
ground. Hunter died of his injuries ten days later in the hospital.
"Hanna was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter after the
incident. But after a nine-month investigation and witness interviews,
prosecutors reduced the charge to simple assault, Assistant U.S.
Attorney Kevin Flynn said. In exchange for pleading guilty, prosecutors dropped a shoplifting
charge against Hanna from last month after he was arrested for
allegedly stealing items from the H&M store downtown. Hanna was placed under house arrest after the 2008 incident and remains free on his personal recognizance. The downgraded charge in Hunter's death angered many in the
District. D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) urged
Channing Phillips, acting U.S. attorney for the District, to take the
case to trial. 'This was a homicide,' Mendelson said. 'The community feels that
charging the assailant with a misdemeanor assault is inappropriate, and