Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Judge Rules Attacks Outside a Gay-Friendly Bar in Kentucky as Hate Crimes

Hate crimes are nothing new to Northern Kentucky; indeed, Kentucky Equality Federation has intervened and acted as public advocate in 6 such cases.  Today in Covington, the Commonwealth's 3rd largest city, a judge ruled that a white supremacist had committed a hate crime when he attacked four people last year outside a bar frequented by gay people.

Devlin Burke, whose body is covered in tattoos of swastikas and other white supremacist symbols, shouted out "sieg heil" as a judge sentenced him Tuesday, the Kentucky Enquirer reported.

The newspaper also reported that a woman replied to the Nazi salute by shouting, "Mommy loves you."

Judge Patricia Summe sentenced Burke to 17 years in prison on three counts of felony assault and another 60 days on a conviction for misdemeanor assault.
Burke will be eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of his sentence, but Summe's determination that the attacks were hate crimes could delay parole or prevent it entirely.

Under Kentucky law, crimes motivated by bias against race, gender or sexual orientation do not carry additional penalty, but they are taken into consideration at parole hearings.

Prosecutors said Burke and another man attacked two women in August during a dispute outside Yadda Club in Covington. When two onlookers intervened, prosecutors said, Burke slashed one man on the arm and the other in the abdomen.

Witnesses said Burke shouted homosexual slurs throughout the attack.

Burke was previously convicted of beating his neighbor in a racially motivated attack and also served prison time for killing his mother's boyfriend in a fight.

Read more: http://www.wlwt.com/news/27927404/detail.html#ixzz1Mf0ejqRa

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