Guilty!

Steven Scarborough, the Michigan man who claimed gay panic led him to kill Victor Manious, has been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. [MLive]

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12 Comments

  • dvlaries

    Oh, he’s gonna be REALLY finding out about ‘gay panic’ soon. Imagine what hot-contested real estate that virgin sphincter is worth where he’s goin’! So long, Stevie. Ha!

  • Redheadguy

    Wow. That was completely inappropriate, DVLARIES. Being a native of Grand Rapids, MI, I am happy justice prevailed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Victor Manious.

  • Bob R

    Why only manslaughter? Why not murder? It sounds like murder would have been the more appropriate charge. I just hope this creep draws the maximum sentence permitted and never walks free again.

  • Shaun Tom

    In response to Bob R: Why only murder? Why not hate-based murder?

  • robinev

    Well… Not really “guilty!”

    The jury seems to have bought into the defense claim of “gay panic” because Scarborough was convicted only of “voluntary manslaughter” for the killing that he admitted to. The jury seems to have actually considered full acquittal.

    The important result is, in fact: “Not Guilty!” of the primary charge of felony murder.

  • shivadog

    I thought manslaughter was when you killed someone by accident, for example, if you were driving recklessly and hit someone. Lately it seems like it’s murder if you kill a man but manslaughter if you kill a gay man.

  • Rick

    the jury actually considered a higher verdict but they couldn’t figure out if the sexual advance was true or not and went with voluntary manslaughter.

  • robinev

    Scarborough was charged with what Michigan calls “felony murder” which sent him to prison for life (no parole possible, apparently). The jury did not find him guilty of that serious charge. Instead, they convicted him of what Michigan law calls “voluntary manslaughter.”

    Here’s a general definition from a search: “Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person intentionally kills another person after ‘adequate provocation’; that is, there has been action that was sufficient to incite an ‘ordinary person’ to ‘sudden and intense passion’ such that s/he loses self control. It should be noted that the time between provocation and the killing should not be long enough for the passion to have cooled off.”

    (Michigan appears to follow this definition.)

    So, in other words, the jury was saying that Scarborough killed Manious, but it was understandable. I.e. They bought the “gay panic” argument.

  • robinev

    Missing a phrase in the last comment: which _would have sent him to prison for life_

    He could end up with only a few years, although the judge (unlike the jury) will be able to consider his prior felony convictions in sentencing which will probably give Scarborough near the max for the manslaughter charge.

  • kevin57

    The jury couldn’t figure out if the sexual advance was true or not? So what? So what if there was a sexual advance?

    I would love to see a jury be as gracious to a woman on trial for killing a man for his sexual advances toward her. Geesh!

  • robinev

    Exactly, Kevin. The defense attorney argued that Scarborough was wholly justified in beating a man to death for what he characterized as an assault. (more than just an advance in the defense story)

    The jury seems to have bought it, partly because the attorney characterized Scarborough as an innocent bumpkin who was doing what his religion had taught him to do. It was a “Jesus made me do it” defense.

    And it worked only because Manious could be characterized as “gay” in some way. Defense apparently didn’t even try to explain why Scarborough had attacked and robbed a few guys only days earlier.

    Prosecutors couldn’t mention that he has a long criminal history.

  • tb

    robinev is right. This is no victory. Being convicted only of voluntary manslaughter means the gay panic defense worked. It means the jury believed Scarborough was “provoked” by his gay victim and that one some level his killing was understandable.

    The provocation defense is one of those horrible legal doctrines that unfortunately still exists. It has most frequently been applied to give husbands who killed their wives more lenient sentences.

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