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Gay Man In Coma After Hammer Attack


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Gay Man In Coma After Hammer Attack

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: November 16, 2005 9:00 pm ET

(Jackson, Alabama) A 52 year old Alabama man is clinging to life in a Jackson hospital after what police call a homophobic attack.

A 26 year old man is charged with attempted murder in the beating Billy Sanford.

Police said that when he was arrested Marcus Dewayne Kelley confessed saying that he attacked Sanford with a hammer because the slight older man had made sexual advances toward him.

At the time of the attack Kelley was working as a handyman for Sanford and his roommate.

Sanford is in a coma. Police said that his doctors have given him little chance for survival. Even if he does survive and regain consciousness his is likely to have permanent brain damage and would be unlikely to testify at Kelley's trial.

Sanford's neighbors and family discount Kelley's version of the events that led up to the attack.

"I just don't see Billy doing that [coming on to someone]," Jackie Richardson, who lives next door to Sanford, told the Montgomery Advertiser. "He wouldn't have done that. There has to be more to it."

Sanford's sister agrees. "Billy is such a sweet spirit, a gentle, nonviolent soul," his sister, Sherry Luna told the paper. "It's really hard to imagine."

Police said that they would have liked to have charged Kelley with a hate crime, but gays are not covered under the state's hate crime law.

Equality Alabama said it is time for lawmakers to amend the hate crime law to include sexuality.

The attack on Sanford is at least the second alleged anti-gay crime in Montgomery in the past 16 months.

In July, 2004, Roderick George of Montgomery died after being shot in the head inside his van by a man who later told police he shot George because of "inappropriate sexual advances."

©365Gay.com 2005


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