Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Hoosier Gay Man Beaten To Death

Fort Wayne, IN – A gay man described as “a kind and gentle soul” was kicked and beaten to death at a birthday party in Huntertown early on Sunday morning.  Paul Michalik, 36, was found dead on the lawn of Brian Paul Brothers, 34, according to reports on Wane.com.  The Allen County Coroner has ruled that a blow to Michalik’s head was the cause of death.  Michalik, a popular and well liked employee at a local spa and salon, went to the party in the wee hours of Sunday morning at the Brothers’ home with a mutual friend, Jerry Lee Chambers. At some point in the party, Brothers ferociously attacked both Michalik and Chambers for causes that are still under investigation, and while law enforcement officials have not  yet formally charged Brothers in the fatal incident, Chambers says that he attacked them because they were gay.  In what Brothers told police was “an all out altercation,” he admitted hitting Michalik multiple times in the head, face, and body, and kicking him multiple times, as well. In his statement to police, Chambers said that he tried to get Michalik outside the house while Brothers rained punches at his head and face, and delivered blows to his body.  Brothers allegedly turned on Chambers, too, so severely that Chambers had to “play dead” to avoid further injury.  While he was on the floor playing dead, Chambers said that he could hear air expelling from Michalik’s body as Brothers kicked him repeatedly in the ribs.  After Brothers’ rage finally exhausted, Chambers says that he and Brothers carried Michalik’s unresponsive body out on the lawn in the darkness.  Brothers allegedly went back into his house, leaving the dying man on the grass without calling for medical help for either of his victims.  At 4 a.m., police responded to a call from the Huntertown address, and found Chambers wounded and Michalik dead.  Reflecting on the severity of the attack, Dr. Jeannie DeClementi, an assistant professor of psychology at IPFW, and a human rights advocate, told Wane.com, “That’s an enormous amount of rage behind that. That’s pretty incredible. When you put it together with the amount of rage and with the violence of the crime, and you add that up with the fact that the victim is gay, I think you have to consider that [the attack was a hate crime],” said DeClementi. A co-worker of Brothers who attended the party but refused to go on camera said to News 15 that the fight started because Chambers and Michalik kept making homosexual passes at guests, and refused to leave the house. This type of accusation, claiming that the victim of an anti-LGBT hate crime is somehow responsible for the violence visited on him, is called the “gay panic defense,” a tactic that is familiar in hate crimes cases across the nation, but has largely been discredited in courts of law.  Indiana’s News Center has learned that Brothers will be formally charged on Thursday.  He is currently being held without bond on a probation violation charge. Brien McElhatten and Scott Sarvay of the News Center report, “While Indiana has no specific hate crime legislation, President Obama signed a federal law into action in 2009 making criminal acts motivated by sexual orientation a federal crime. However, federal charges will not come into play, because the offender must cross state boundaries in the process of committing the crime, according to Huntington County Prosecutor Amy Richison.” The prosecutor will have to make the determination whether to charge Brothers with a hate crime.

May 14, 2010 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Beatings and battery, Blame the victim, Bludgeoning, gay men, gay panic defense, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Indiana, Law and Order, Matthew Shepard Act, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Social Justice Advocacy, Stomping and Kicking Violence, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: