Two men could get life in committing a Federal Hate Crime Against a gay Man

1132

David and Anthony Jenkins have been charged with a federal hate crime in a beating attack on a gay man in an Appalachian park, making this the first time the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act law has been applied federally in a U.S. case. The two men, who are cousins, and were traveling on a federal highway with the victim in their car, which makes this case fall under federal jurisdiction; both were indicted by a federal grand jury in Louisville, KY.

Two women traveling in the truck, with them, Alexis Leann Combs Jenkins and Mable Ashley Jenkins, have been charged with kidnapping and aiding a kidnapping.

The April 2011 attack on Kevin Pennington left him with substantial injuries to his head and chest. It’s alleged that as the two men were beating and kicking Pennington, they were yelling, “How do you like this faggot?” Pennington was finally able to break free, run away and break a window to a rangers station and call the police. The men were charged with violating a federal hate crime law, and indicated on federal kidnapping, assault and conspiracy

“The indictment marks the first federal case in the nation charging a violation of the sexual orientation section of the Federal Hate Crimes Law,” said a U.S. Department of Justice statement. Both men have pled not guilty, and denied committing a hate crime.

“It’s vindicating to see that the years of hard work that went into making sure this law was on the books is now being put into place,” said Michael Cole-Schwartz, a spokesman for the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, which pushed for the law’s passage.

“The bigger picture here is that the U.S. attorney’s office is sending a message that you don’t try to hurt someone and you don’t injure them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Jordan Palmer, president of the Kentucky Equality Foundation, a civil-rights group.

The law, which is known as the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a possible conviction could send the two men to jail for life.

 

 

 

David and Anthony Jenkins have been charged with a federal hate crime in a beating attack on a gay man in an Appalachian park, making this the first time the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act law has been applied federally in a U.S. case. The two men, who are cousins, and were traveling on a federal highway with the victim in their car, which makes this case fall under federal jurisdiction; both were indicted by a federal grand jury in Louisville, KY.