Hateful Homicides: 'Miles to go before we sleep.'
- Yeah, Keith. The LGBT community is blessed with great crime reporters in DC. Yusef is terrific, as is Blade veteran Lou Chibbaro, Jr.
To be sure, this very sad story-- ending with a tough sentence deserves some additional exposure-- if for no other reason than to broadcast some new sentencing benchmarks, both for the public and other judges.
Community kudos and our deep appreciation go out to MPD and the USAO-DC, as well.
As U.S. Attorney Manchen noted, this was just a ruthless, cold-blooded killer.
So I don't want to overgeneralize about a single case. But this killer's homophobia, and its associated crime of murder, is clearly at the extreme opposite end of a line of homophobic animus from that of the Safeway incident with the gay couple at Waterside a few weeks ago.
Most hate speech, by itself-- lacking another crime (assault, battery, property destruction, etc.), can not usually be prosecuted as a hate crime, however despicably offensive the remarks may be. Still, real harm can be done by hate speech.
A common thread that often runs throughout homophobic hate/ bias behavior, criminal or not, is an extreme lack of understanding that such behavior is wrongful. We saw an almost joking or mocking "apology' from the Safeway clerk. In initial interviews, Matthew Shepard's killers couldn't understand why the police were concerned that a gay man had been nearly beaten to death. They thought they were doing the world a favor.
It really highlights just how deeply ingrained, for far too many, the mental *phobias* against LGBT people really are. As we celebrate 42 years of LGBT Pride, as well as the latest advancement for marriage equality in NY state, bringing some justice and closure to this hateful homicide in our nation's capital only serves to remind us how much farther we have to go.
Thanks, Keith. Stay well.
(Just across Taylor f/ 405.)
--- In MPD-4D@yahoogroups.com, Keith Jarrell <keith.k.jarrell@...> wrote:Re: [MPD-4D] Judge sentences Holcomb to 50 years
Thanks Brian for reporting this. This is one of the stiffest sentences I recall reading about in some time now. I am glad to see that justice worked in this case, for the victim and the family instead of the accused.
Keith JarrellOn Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 7:30 AM, brian.ions <brian.ions@...> wrote:ï¿½
Holcomb Gets 50 years
D.C. judge delivers sentence for 2009 shooting of gay D.C. resident Anthony Perkins
by Yusef Najafi
Published on June 30, 2011, 1:14pm
A D.C. Superior Court judge sentenced Antwan Holcomb, 21, to 50 years behind bars for the first-degree murder of Anthony Perkinsï¿½, a gay D.C. resident, on Thursday, June 30.
Holcomb was also sentenced for other violent crimes involving other victims including assault with intent to kill, assault with a dangerous weapon and illegal possession of firearm.
In total, Judge Lee Satterfield sentenced Holcomb to more than 80 years behind bars. Holcomb was also sentenced to 15 years, to be served concurrently, for the armed robbery of Perkins, from whom he stole a pack of cigarettes after the Dec. 27, 2009, shooting.
The sentencing comes after a jury found Holcomb guilty of first-degree murder on March 1.
Perkins was 29 and lived with his mother in the District. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, he worked as a dispatcher for an air conditioning and heating company.
Before Satterfield announced sentencing, Perkins's mother, Stella Perkins, addressed the court with comments directed at Holcomb. Looking at Holcomb directly, she said, ''I know how it feels now that I don't have a son. And now your mother won't have a son.
''You hurt your family. You hurt a lot of people. But you hurt yourself. â¦ My son was gay and it didn't bother me, because he was my baby,'' she said, tearing up. ''He wouldn't hurt a flea. You took away my heart. â¦ I can't forgive you. God is going to have to judge you.''