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Anti-Gay Death Punch Killer Arrested

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Police have arrested 18-year old Stephen Andrew Moller for his role in the death of 20-year old gay man, Sean William Kennedy.

Mr Kennedy had been leaving Brew’s Bar in Greenville County, South Carolina when someone pulled up, yelled an anti-gay epithet and punched him. NBC affiliate WYFF reports:

Deputies said that Kennedy , 20, was walking to his car from Brew’s Bar early Wednesday morning when Moller got out of another car and approached Kennedy. Investigators said that Moller made a comment about Kennedy’s sexual orientation, and then struck him in the face.

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Kennedy fell backward, hit his head and died at a local hospital. Investigators are now consulting with the FBI to see if the attack qualifies as a hate crime:

Friends of Kennedy told WYYF News 4 that they think the alleged assault was a hate crime because Kennedy was openly gay.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office has provided information concerning this case to the FBI, which will make a determination as to whether to proceed with a hate crime investigation.

It sure sounds like a hate crime to us. But, who knows? Maybe Moller said something like, “Die, you fucking maggot!” Unlikely, but possible…

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           May 18, 2007
Tagged: , ,

  • 23 Comments
    • Mike
      Mike

      Do South Carolina’s hate crime laws encompass sexuality? That seems pretty progressive for a state like SC.

      May 18, 2007 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbb
      dbb

      I beleive this can only be reported as a hate crime with the FBI for statistic purposes since that is all the federal law covers at this point. If the current hate crimes legislation passes and then if proven it could have been prosecuted as a federal hate crime. But instead he will just become a statistic in federal hate crimes reported by the Justice Department when the report is released….. How very sad…very very sad.

      May 18, 2007 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chevy
      Chevy

      I hope this is prosecuted as a hate crime. I would love to know if Stephen Moller is a gay man that can’t hadle the truth. If he is, I hope he gets help. If he is 100% hetero, I hope he becomes someone’s girlfriend while in jail.

      May 18, 2007 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john kennedy
      john kennedy

      As the brother of the victim…i hope Mr. Moller also becomes someones GF. Sean was a high spirited person who left a little footprint on everyones heart that he touched…

      May 18, 2007 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      Just look at the difference in the two photos; of the victim and of the perp. I realise that the perp’s photo is probably a mugshot, but the joy in Sean’s eyes and the hate in Mr. Moller’s eyes are so telling. Did Moller hate Sean for being gay, or for being gay and happy? I hope Moller lives a long life rotting behind bars, never experiencing a moment of joy in his life.

      And to John Kenndy, I am truly sorry for your loss. Your brother was a lucky man to have you in his life.

      May 18, 2007 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cjc
      cjc

      Nearly every state in the union EXCEPT South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Indiana, and Wyoming has a hate crimes statute of some shape or form against certain groups of people. The number of those which include sexual orientation is even fewer.

      This PDF from the Anti-Defamation League has a very good breakdown of the states:
      http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/state_hate_crime_laws.pdf

      John, I also grieve for your loss and hope that the perpetrator of this crime gets the harshest punishment possible.

      May 18, 2007 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJ Shorty
      DJ Shorty

      John Kennedy I just want to say how sorry I am for all this to happen. I think kids like Mr Moller should get death. Reguardless of your brother’s orientation, he was a good kid. I only saw him around the clubs, but never knew him personally. I am a DJ and also DJ in the clubs around Greenville, SC and beyond. And I’ve also been to the establishment where your brother was attacked. I know that Brew’s is getting alot of bad P.R., but also lets remember that this is taking place in every club, bar, restaurant in the USA. I have gay friends as well, some whom are a hell of a lot nicer than my straight friends, and I just hope that you and your family recieve justice for this tragic incident. If you need anything, feel free to contact me http://www.myspace.com/djshortysc. Again I am deeply sorry for your loss and hope that the person that acted on this will go to jail for life.

      May 18, 2007 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      Truly, truly tragic.

      May 18, 2007 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JazzKid1986
      JazzKid1986

      I knew Stephen was a nice guy to me, made a huge mistake he made his bed now he has to lie in it.

      May 18, 2007 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Roberts
      David Roberts

      I am deeply sorry for your loss, John.

      May 19, 2007 at 12:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charley
      Charley

      The bible says kill gays, that’s what this ignorant person has heard all his life from the authorties in that South Carolina hick town.

      May 19, 2007 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Kennedy
      John Kennedy

      hey charley…obvoiusly youve never visited this so called ‘hicktown’. just becuase we have one moron who was jealous of my brothers happiness for life…doesnt mean we are all ignorant. Visit greenville SC and then share your opinion… Thanks.

      May 19, 2007 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James Martin
      James Martin

      First of all, I want to say that I am sorry for the death of Sean Kennedy and Steven Moller. I truly am. It would be wonderful if events like these never occured. Also, I mean no disrespect to the feelings of anyone, especially the families and I am in no way defending or making excuses for actions.

      Secondly, I would am interested to know where in the bible it says to “kill gays”, by any phrase used.

      Thirdly, I am curious to know why it is considered a hate crime when any straight, white male attacks an individual of another race or sexual orientation. I have no problem whatsoever with gays, blacks, etc. I am only looking for a discussion. I know you won’t believe me and thats fine. But really, whenever a non-white or non-straight individual performs a crime against a straight, white one, hate crime is not even considered. Why is it so when it is the other way around? Also, why, in this case should an individual get extra jail time because he killed a homosexual? The law for this type of crime gives 3 to 5 years, why life? Obviously I don’t know every detail pertaining to this case but it sounds to me like manslaughter, not murder.

      I am very interested to hear all of your thoughts and opinions.

      May 21, 2007 at 8:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike Johnson
      Mike Johnson

      Im sorry to hear about your brother. Greenville is actually a great town but everytown has a few idiots. Ive been to Brew’s quite a few times in the last 6 months and had a great time. Before you judge the state or the bar…you might want to try visiting first.

      May 21, 2007 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john kennedy
      john kennedy

      James,
      A hate crime doesnt only have to do with gays. The fact that he didnt know the slightest bit about my brother but the fact that he was gay means its a hate crime. He did it bc he was gay. and for no other reason.

      May 22, 2007 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JC
      JC

      James,

      This person didn’t just kill someone who happened to be a homosexual he killed him BECAUSE he was a homosexual. It was meant to serve as a message of intolerance and hatred… Sean Kennedy was very sadly the recipient of that message and lost his life because of who he represented to the murderer. Beyond devastating his family and friends this also serves to initimidate anyone else who is gay. The effects therefore are far greater reaching and in theory have a bigger impact on our society, hence special classification as “hate crime”.

      May 22, 2007 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James Martin
      James Martin

      Thank you for your responses. I wasn’t considering society as a whole, only individual cases. Thank you for the information.

      May 22, 2007 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greenman
      greenman

      James, I would also add that in the case of hate crimes, while there is a primary victim, the intent is to terrorise an entire community. By driving to the parking lot of a gay bar and attacking the first person he saw and using homophobic slurs, Moller was sending the message to gays in general that they are not safe or free to congregate. The motive was not robbery or even personal hostility toward Mr Kennedy because they did not know each other. The hate was directed toward a group of people of whom Mr Kennedy was seen as a convienient representative.

      May 23, 2007 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Kennedy
      John Kennedy

      greenman,

      The bar he was at was a straight bar.

      May 24, 2007 at 9:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Kennedy
      John Kennedy

      Here is the information as far as the charity’s name and who to make check out to and what not. Very shortly we will be having a website either seanslastwish.com or seanslastwish.org…ill keep u up to date on that.

      Write checks to

      Sean’s Last Wish
      CPM Federal Credit Union
      P.O. Box 2297
      Greer SC 29652

      Email Seanslastwish@yahoo.com with any questions.

      May 26, 2007 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Christopher Hubble
      Christopher Hubble

      Dear John Kennedy: I offer my condolences for the death of your brother. No words, I’m sure, can effectively console or comfort. Chris in Denver.

      Dear James Martin: It seems to me that your “questions” are incredibly disrespectful to the victim and his family and friends–and render your offer of condolences dubious. If you REALLY would like answers to your questions, feel free to contact me at cahubble05@yahoo.com. I’ll be happy to send you chapter and verse.

      May 27, 2007 at 10:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Glenn - Niagara Falls
      Glenn - Niagara Falls

      My sincere condolences on the loss of your brother. This event need not ever happen if we all just accept each other for who we are not what our personal orientation is. This sickens me, the loss of a young life, and for no real reason other than he was gay. I walk in your brothers shadow every time i go out (I am Gay) and it shouldn’t be that way, for anyone. Please convey to all that your brothers death will not have been in vain in our community, for we hold high the sacrafices made by those willingly or not, so that we can grow stronger and gain more acceptance in our world as a whole.

      May 27, 2007 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim-Greenville, SC
      Jim-Greenville, SC

      Stephen Moller got involuntary manslaughter. I believe it carries a sentence of six months to one year.

      Oct 16, 2007 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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