HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 29, 2000
Three Chicago cops placed on leave for alleged role in anti-gay beating
CHICAGO—Three police officers have been placed on administrative leave for allegedly beating a man they thought was gay, the Chicago Free Press reported. Jeffrey Lyons, 39,
was hugging a man good-bye outside a bar filled with off-duty police officers when he was
allegedly confronted by the officers. "Get that faggot shit away from my truck," one of the
officer's shouted, according to Lyons' attorney Timothv Cavenaugh. The officer then started hitting Lyons, and other officers allegedly joined in. The beating ended with Lyons
unconscious with a broken nose and fractured cheekbones. Cavenaugh said Lyons' long
hair may have led the officers to believe he was gay. Cavenaugh said Lyons is not gay and
the son of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1992.
Vt. judge rules details of lesbian affair tainted wrongful death lawsuit
BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP)—The Vermont Supreme Court found that inflammatory testimony about a wife's lesbian affair has tainted the verdict in a trial over a man's death in a 1998
apartment fire, and ordered a new trial. The high court agreed with the family of the late
Charles Mears that a lower court judge erred when he allowed Edwin Colvin's attorney to
attack the family's moral character. The family sought $1.75 million in damages for Mears'
death, charging that as landlord, Colvin should have installed hard-wired smoke detectors in
Mears' apartment, as required by law. Colvin, a former state representative, argued that battery-powered smoke detectors were sufficient. Throughout the trial, defense attorney Marc
Heath hammered away at Mears' widow, Shirley, depicting her as an opportunist who abandoned, her mentally ill husband for another woman and then tried to cash in on his death.
Alleged killer fit to stand trial in W.V. killing, psychologist says
FAIRMONT, W.Va—A teen charged with killing a
gay black man last summer claims he was sexually
abused by the victim for more than five years, starting
at age 12, the Charleston Gazette reported. Arthur
"J.R." David Parker and Jared Wilson, both 17 at the
time, are being tried as adults for Warren's July 4 slaying. "[Warren] would come around when I was drunk.
He would follow me into the basement," Parker told
forensic psychologist William Fremouw. "In a way, he
forced me." Parker does not consider himself to be gay,
although he had sex with Warren about 30 times over
five years, Fremouw said. The night of the killing,
Parker said he consumed 15 beers, smoked marijuana,
snorted crushed tranquilizers and huffed gasoline. But
Parker's intoxication didn't prevent him from knowing
what he was doing the night of the murder, Fremouw
said, and the teen is capable of standing trial on a first- Dav™ Pw*er< °«us«d of killing a
degree murder charge. Prosecutors alleged Warren was 9»V West Virginia man had sex with
killed because he told others about his sexual relation- ™e ™,im "1™ thon 3,Q ,,mes be*ore
ship with Parker. Parker's attorney, Stephen Fitz, has ,he Jul>* 4 ^V'"* ™thonties said.
said he will argue that Warren was a "sexual predator." Also, special prosecutors have been
appointed to handle the two cases, since the current district attorney is leaving office in
January. Wilson's trial is set to begin Jan. 16, though a new judge who takes over the case next
month said the start of the trial could be pushed back.
Hustler, transgendered partner convicted in fatal Calif, robbery
SAN JOSE, Calif.—A hustler and his transgendered lover were both found guilty of robbing and fatally knifing a man last year, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Michael
Yancey, 29, and Ronnie Warren Ellard, 32, were charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the April 13, 1999, killing of lighting consultant Kenneth Alexander, 47, who had
met Yancey in a San Francisco park. The pair went to a motel and engaged in drugs and
sex, police said. Alexander then invited Yancey to stop by his apartment on his way home
the next day. The motive for the slaying, according to prosecutors, was money. During the
trial, Ellard's attorney, David Hultgren, accused Yancey of the killing. Yancey, he said,
wanted Ellard to take the fall for the crime because Ellard, who has AIDS, "was going to
die anyway." Yancey testified that he was not present when Alexander was fatally knifed.
The are scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 18.
Two New Zealand men sentenced for vicious attack on gay waiter
AUCKLAND—Two New Zealand men were sentenced for the beating of a gay waiter,
the New Zealand Herald reported. Andrew Andre Poki, 20, received 10 years, while Phillip
James Taylor, 26, got 7-1/2 for the March 24 beating of Stephen Byrne, who had been lured
by the two men into a secluded place. When Byrne tried to kiss one of them, they viciously beat him. "Mr. Byrne was the victim of a particularly brutal attack because he was homosexual," Judge Nicholson said. Doctors had to remove a blood clot in Byrne's brain, leaving him with short-term memory problems after the attack. "I just keep thinking they
1 ' " stuffed up my life and stuffed up theirs as well,"
For more news,.visit Byrne said of his attackers.
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