Kevin Hale

Kevin Hale

Kevin Hale (1969- July 30, 2005) was a gay man who was strangled to death in the small town of Montrose, Colorado. He was 36.

The Hate Crime

Kevin John Hale, age 36, was born on June 15 and was a gay man. His two alleged assailants knew about his sexual orientation. One of the defendants was a coworker of Hale, who had previously complained of harassment by him in the workplace. Hale had complained to the police on several recent occasions that he feared for his life and was being harassed. Family members of Hale believe that he was subjected to significant anti-gay harassment. Hale's body was found the morning of July 30, 2005 in Buckley Park with blood on his hand while his emptied wallet was nearby. Hale is said to have been put in a choke hold and autopsy reports show that he died from strangulation.

The Confessions

Several hours later, Jason Fiske turned himself in and implicated Adam Hernandez. Fiske and Hernandez were originally charged with first degree murder, intimidation, and robbery; but not a hate crime. Fiske told the police that Hale had made a sexual advance towards him. This "gay panic" justification was also involved in the Matthew Shepard case in Wyoming and the Skyock case in Colorado; both cases were widely acknowledged as crimes of anti-gay violence.

The Sentencing

Since the arrest, Hernandez was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter and theft. He was originally charged with felony murder in the July 30 death of Hale could instead be sent to a Department of Corrections boot camp program if the agency determines he's an appropriate candidate. The judge ordered a six-year sentence formanslaughter and a two-year sentence for theft, with the sentences to run back-to-back. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors had asked that Hernandez serve no more than eight years. Fiske is charged with first-degree murder.

External links

* [ GLBT Colorado site summary of Hale case]
* [ Montrose (Colo.) Daily Press Brief: Fiske sentence should be reduced] 2007-09-22

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