'He winked at me': Marines arrested in Savannah for assaulting gay man

keil_cronauer_christopher_stanzel

The FBI has launched a preliminary investigation into an attack on a gay man early Saturday, June 12, in Savannah, Ga., to determine if the case warrants hate crime charges. Two Marines — Keil Cronauer, 22, and Christopher Stanzel, 23 — were arrested in connection with the assault, according to the Associated Press and the Savannah Morning News.

Savannah police found Kieran Daly, 26, lying on a downtown street corner, unconscious, early on Saturday morning. Witnesses told police the two Marines accused Daly of winking at them, and that one of the two had punched Daly in the back of the head.

Police also said the two Marines told investigators they were trying to get away from a gay man who was harassing them.

Cronauer and Stanzel, both stationed in South Carolina, now face misdemeanor battery charges. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that both were released to Marine police.

On Top Magazine reports that Daly suffered seizures after the attack and has been diagnosed with bruising to his brain. He also told On Top that he was attacked as he was trying to walk away from an argument with the Marines over whether he was flirting with them.

—  admin

FBI releases Michael Jackson file

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson

The FBI released Michael Jackson’s file, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request by several news organizations. Jackson died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 5o.

Released were seven separate files that can each be accessed from the link above.

The first is a Los Angeles investigation into extortion threats against Jackson in 1992. One person was arrested in that case and sent to prison in 1993.

Next is a 1993 child molestation investigation that never went to trial.

Third is a London child molestation investigation, also in 1993

Fourth is a 1995-97 child pornography investigation.

The fifth is the 2004 child molestation investigation that went to trial and for which Jackson was acquitted.

The next was another child molestation case, which was closed due to lack of witness cooperation.

The last was again related to a child molestation case.

The file notes that Jackson was acquitted of all charges.

—  David Taffet

FBI monitoring possible Big Bend hate crime

Towleroad is reporting that a Marfa man is organizing a rally tonight in support of the 18-year-old victim of the possible recent anti-gay hate crime in Texas’ Big Bend area. The rally will be at 6 p.m. in front of the Marfa courthouse, according to an e-mail the Marfa man sent to Towleroad. Marfa is in the county immediately west of Brewster County, where the crime occurred. The man who’s organizing the rally, James, notes that one of the suspects is being held on only $35,000 bond, meaning he’ll be released if he can post $3,500.

Meanwhile, despite four days worth of phone messages, I still haven’t heard back from Brewster County Sheriff Ronnie Dodson, whose office is investigating the case. I filed a request Friday under the Texas Open Records Act seeking documents related to the case. Dodson has 10 days to respond to my request. Also Friday, I left messages with the FBI to find out whether they’re aware of the crime, and it turns out they are. Remember, the hate crimes law passed in October allows the federal government to intervene in cases of anti-gay hate crimes. I received a return message this morning from Matthew Espenshade, supervising agent in the FBI’s Midland office. Here’s what Espenshade said:

“What I can say about it right now is that we are working with the Brewster County’s Sheriff’s Office, monitoring the situation, and determining whether there was any hate crime involved in the incident, if it would it would rise to that level. We’re now going to be making that determination along with the Department of Justice at some point here. We are aware of the situation and monitoring it and we’ll assist in any investigative measures that are appropriate.”

—  John Wright

Number of anti-gay hate crimes increased in Texas, across nation in 2008

A day after vigils were held around the country for two murdered gay teenagers, the FBI released statistics showing that the number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation increased 11 percent in 2008.

A closer look at the FBI report shows that Texas saw a 20 percent increase in the number of anti-gay hate crimes, going from 46 in 2007 to 55 in 2008. In Dallas, the number of anti-gay hate crimes fell, from seven in 2007 to six in 2008. Houston had the most reported anti-gay hate crimes of any city in Texas in 2008, 10, followed by Austin with seven and Dallas with six. Fort Worth reported three, which was an increase from zero in both 2006 and 2007.

—  John Wright