Tag Archives: gang

Comic book icon Archie to die saving gay friend

The comic book icon Archie Andrews dies saving the life of his gay friend in this week’s installment of “Life with Archie.”

The freckle-faced Archie will be shot when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, the series” first openly gay character. Andrews’ death, which was announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the series about the grown-ups who once attended Riverdale High.

Archie,” Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO told The Associated Press. “He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”

Keller’s character joined Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle in the Archie Comics spin-off “Veronica” in 2010. He later appeared in his comic book. In the “Life with Archie” stories, Keller is a newly elected senator advocating gun control reforms after his husband is involved in a shooting.

“We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone,” said Goldwater. “That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”

Andrews’ final moments will be detailed in “Life with Archie” No. 36, while issue No. 37 will jump forward a year and focus on the gang honoring the legacy of their red-headed pal, who first appeared in comics in 1941 and went on to become a colorful icon of wholesomeness. Other incarnations of Andrews will continue to live on in Archie Comics series.

The latest issue will be on newstands on July 16.

When he announced plans for issue No. 36 in April, Goldwater said, “We’ve been building up to this moment since we launched ‘Life with Archie’ five years ago, and knew that any book that was telling the story of Archie’s life as an adult had to also show his final moment.

“Archie has and always will represent the best in all of us — he’s a hero, good-hearted, humble and inherently honorable. This story is going to inspire a wide range of reactions because we all feel so close to Archie. Fans will laugh, cry, jump off the edge of their seats and hopefully understand why this comic will go down as one of the most important moments in Archie’s entire history. It’s the biggest story we’ve ever done, and we’re supremely proud of it.”

2 hospitalized, 4 arrested after anti-gay assault on Long Island

The New York City Anti-Violence Project reports that two men were hospitalized over the weekend after being assaulted by at least four males in Babylon, Long Island.

Authorities have arrested males – in their late teens and early 20s – in connection with the assault.

One of the injured men, according to the report from the AVP, was in serious condition on July 22. The other man was treated and released.

LongIsland.News12.com reported that four men were walking in Babylon at about 3:30 a.m. on July 21 when they stopped two other men to ask directions to the train station.

The four men then began to beat the two men, while shouting homophobic slurs.

The defendants face charges of gang assault and third-degree assault with hate crime penalties.

A press release from the Long Island GLBT Services Network stated, “The alleged anti-gay hate crime in Babylon is disturbing and frightening. Many people think that just because we are winning the right to marry in many states, that the world has changed and everything is now okay for gay people. This incident reminds us that we need to be vigilant in combatting hate and homophobia and that there still is a tremendous amount of work to do to make our Long Island a safe and welcoming community for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and families. It is our hope that the Suffolk County District Attorney will continue to prosecute this as the hate crime that it is, and show no mercy to the attackers – they need to be sent away to prison, and by doing so, this will send a message all across Long Island that hate and violence will not be tolerated against any group.”

The New York AVP has responded to a series of anti-gay assaults this summer, including a fatal attack on one man.

Jury convicts man in killing of transgender rapper in Milwaukee

One of five men charged in the gang-related killing of a Milwaukee rap artist has been convicted. 


A jury found 19-year-old Ashanti Mcalister guilty on June 27 of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of 22-year-old Evon Young, a transgender rapper who also was known as Yung LT. 


Young disappeared New Year’s Day. Police maintain that Mcalister and four others killed Young and disposed of him in a trash bin, but his body was never found. 



According to testimony, Mcalister delivered three shots to Young’s lifeless body after he was suffocated and strangled in the basement of his own home. 


Sentencing is set for Aug. 12. 


Another defendant testified against Mcalister as part of a plea deal, according to the AP.

A jury deadlocked in another defendant’s trial earlier this month. A new trial has been scheduled for September.

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3 get plea deals in anti-gay crime in NYC

Three reputed members of a New York City street gang accused of brutal anti-gay attacks on a teenage recruit and two others pleaded guilty to lesser charges this week after prosecutors said the victims wanted to avoid testifying at a trial.

The three members of the Latin King Goonies were initially charged with crimes including aggravated sexual abuse and assault as a hate crime, gang assault and burglary, prosecutors said. Their pleas June 20 ranged from burglary to attempted assault.

“The pleas were offered after lengthy consultation with the victims who wished to avoid having to testify, which might have had the effect of victimizing them again,” the District Attorney’s Office in the Bronx said in a statement. “Assistant District Attorney Theresa Gottleib told the court the people believed the pleas serve the interest of justice from society’s perspective as well as that of the victims.”

Prosecutors said that in October 2010, members of the gang went berserk after hearing a rumor that one of their new recruits, a 17-year-old from the Bronx, was gay. The teen was stripped, beaten and sexually assaulted with a plunger handle until he confessed to having had sex with a 30-year-old man who lives a few blocks away, prosecutors and police said at the time.

Then, the group grabbed a second teen they suspected was gay and tortured him, too, authorities said. Finally, they invited the 30-year-old to an abandoned house they used as a hangout, telling him they were having a party. When he arrived, they burned, beat and tortured him for hours, and the attack included sexually assaulting him with a miniature baseball bat, prosecutors said.

At the time, the case was one in a spate of alleged anti-gay attacks across the region, and it sparked horror and outrage among city lawmakers and the public who demanded justice.

Ten people were initially arrested, but charges against three were dropped. On June 20, David Rivera, 24, pleaded guilty to the most serious charge of burglary, admitting he went into the homes of two of the victims, flashed what appeared to be a gun and took cash, credit cards and electronics from the home. He will be sentenced to 13 years when he is sentenced July 29. His lawyer didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Nelson Falu, 20, pleaded guilty to robbery, admitting he stole from one of the victims after threatening them with a baseball bat. He will serve seven years behind bars when he is sentenced Aug. 9. His lawyer didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Elmer Confresi, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted gang assault after admitting he injured one of the victims held in the basement. He will be sentenced July 29 to four years.

“He was minimally involved,” said his attorney Patrick Bruno. “I think the district attorney was equitable. They made the distinction.”

Charges against four others are still pending.

Trial underway for man accused in slaying of transgender rapper

A Milwaukee man went on trial June 10 for killing Evon Young, a 22-year-old transgender man known in the city as rapper Yung LT.

Billy Griffin is one of five men arrested in connection with Young’s death. He is charged with first-degree intentional homicide.

On the first day of Griffin’s trial in Milwaukee, Annette Cross-Perry, Young’s mother, testified. She had notified authorities that her son, who called her every morning, was missing on Jan. 2.

Griffin was Young’s roommate, and he initially told authorities that Young arrived home on Jan. 1 but soon after left to meet with someone.

Weeks later, after attending vigils and helping Cross-Perry search for Young, Griffin allegedly confessed that he and four others – said to be members of a gang – had a role in killing Young and disposing of the body. The men, allegedly because they suspected Young of a stealing from them, bound the young man, beat him, placed a bag over his head and strangled him with chains. They then shot him several times.

Three others face trial this summer – 37-year-old Ron Allen, 23-year-old Devin Seaberry and 18-year-old Ashanti Mcalister.

Earlier this month, 27-year-old Victor Stewart pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide and is scheduled to be sentenced in July. Stewart is expected to testify at Griffin’s trial this week.

Guilty plea in killing of Milwaukee transgender man

Victor L. Stewart pleaded guilty on June 5 to second-degree reckless homicide in the death of Evon “Yung LT” Young, a 22-year-old transgender man.

Stewart appeared in Milwaukee court with attorney Deborah S Vishny and pleaded guilty to the reduced charge. He is due to be sentenced on July 23, according to a court report.

Four others  – Ashanti Mcalister, Billy R. Griffin, Ron Joseph Allen and Devin L. Seaberry – remain in jail awaiting trial for first-degree homicide. Authorities say they kidnapped Young, beat him, killed him and then disposed of the body, which was possibly taken to a landfill.

Young’s mother reported her son missing on Jan. 2 after she received a phone call notifying her that he failed to show up for work. Young also failed to attend a dinner with family, prompting his mother to begin calling around, including to hospitals, in an effort to locate her son, according to previous Wisconsin Gazette reports.

Police, after taking the mother’s report, went to Young’s residence in the 5300 block of North 52nd Street to investigate.

The criminal complaint states that Young’s roommate, Griffin, initially said Young returned home from work on Jan. 1 but soon after left with an unknown person in a car. An officer searched the residence but didn’t find Young or anything unusual, according to the complaint.

In the days after, family and friends circulated fliers and searched for Young. His mother found a cell phone on the curb outside of his residence, which she turned over to police. It apparently had belonged to Stewart and then Mcalister and was last used the day Young disappeared.

Additional investigation by police found Stewart’s name in a stolen vehicle report filed about the time of Young’s disappearance by Stewart’s wife.

The vehicle, a Chevy Impala, had been seen by a witness outside Young’s residence and, when police located and seized the car, they found possible bloodstains inside, as well as fingerprints.

Stewart’s wife, according to the complaint, said she reported the car stolen because Stewart had it all night and returned it only the next morning, making her late for work. She also said when he returned home, Stewart was wearing different clothing and that her vehicle smelled of bleach and appeared recently washed.

The MPD arrested the five men based on witness statements, physical evidence and statements by Griffin and Stewart.

According to the complaint, Griffin changed his report and told police that Young arrived home on Jan. 1 and did not go out, instead they talked. Later in the night, the doorbell rang and Stewart, Allen, Mcalister and Seaberry – all members of the Black P-Stones – entered the residence.

Griffin said Stewart had a gun and said Young was going to die that night because he couldn’t be trusted. The complaint states that Griffin was told he would be welcomed into the gang if he killed Young.

Griffin told police that the other men punched Young in the face while Mcalister held a gun to Young’s head.

Eventually, the complaint continues, the men took Young to the basement, where they placed a bag over Young’s head. Young fought back, but then a chain was placed over his neck and Mcalister and Allen pulled on it until Young passed out.

Griffin said the attackers began beating Young with tools and, unable to watch any longer, he went upstairs, from where he could hear three gunshots.

The complaint states that Allen left and returned with bleach and duct tape and Stewart, Mcalister and Seaberry wrapped Young’s body in a sheet.

After they cleaned up the basement and showered, the men allegedly took Young’s body to a Dumpster.

Griffin, the complaint states, told police he received a call from Stewart, who told him, “The deed is done.”

Police investigators found blood in the basement on the walls and floor and a piece of duct tape with Stewart’s fingerprint.

The complaint also contains a statement from Stewart, who allegedly told police that Mcalister wanted to kill Young in the kitchen but Stewart told him not to do it there.

He said Mcalister, Allen, Seaberry and Griffin took Young to the basement and that Griffin provided the bag that was placed over Young’s head.

Stewart told authorities in January that Mcalister shot Young three times and that, after they cleaned up the basement, Griffin provided everyone with a change of clothing.

Milwaukee trial dates set in death of transgender rapper

Five men will go to trial this summer for murder in connection with the disappearance and death of the 22-year-old transgender rapper Evon Young aka Yung LT. 

Trial dates were set for June and July in the case being prosecuted by the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office, which has filed first-degree homicide charges against Victor Stewart, 27; Ashanti Mcalister, 19; Billy R. Griffin, 26; Ron Joseph Allen, 37; and Devin L. Seaberry, 23.

Griffin is set for trial June 10; Allen and Mcalister, June 24; Stewart, July 1 and Seaberry, July 8. 

Trial dates often are pushed back as motions, including possible plea agreements, are entered.

Young’s mother reported her son missing on Jan. 2 after she received a phone call from Young’s employer notifying her that he failed to show up for work.

Police, after taking the mother’s report, went to Young’s residence in the 5300 block of North 52nd Street to investigate.

The criminal complaint states that Young’s roommate, Griffin, initially claimed Young returned home from work on Jan. 1 but soon after left with an unknown person in a car. An officer searched the residence but didn’t find Young or anything unusual, according to the complaint.

In the days after, family and friends circulated fliers and searched for Young. His mother found a cell phone on the curb outside of his residence, which she turned over to police. It apparently had belonged to Stewart and then Mcalister and was was last used the day Young disappeared.

Additional investigation by police found Stewart’s name in a stolen vehicle report filed about the time of Young’s disappearance by Stewart’s wife.

The vehicle, a Chevy Impala, had been seen by a witness outside Young’s residence and, when police located and seized the car, they found possible bloodstains inside, as well as fingerprints.

Stewart’s wife, according to the complaint, said she reported the car stolen because Stewart had it all night and returned it only the next morning, making her late for work. She also said when he returned home, Stewart was wearing different clothing and that her vehicle smelled of bleach and appeared recently washed.

The MPD arrested five men based on witness statements, physical evidence and statements by Griffin and Stewart.

According to the complaint, Griffin told police that Young arrived home on Jan. 1 and they talked. Later in the night, the doorbell rang and Stewart, Allen, Mcalister and Seaberry – all members of the Black P-Stones – entered the residence.

Griffin said Stewart had a gun and said Young was going to die that night because he couldn’t be trusted. The complaint states that Griffin was told he would be welcomed into the gang if he killed Young.

Griffin told police that the other men punched Young in the face while Mcalister held a gun to Young’s head.

Eventually, the complaint continues, the men took Young to the basement, where they placed a bag over Young’s head. Young fought back, but then a chain was placed over his neck and Mcalister and Allen pulled on it until Young passed out.

Griffin said the attackers began beating Young with tools and, unable to watch any longer, he went upstairs, from where he could hear three gunshots.

The complaint states that Allen left and returned with bleach and duct tape and Stewart, Mcalister and Seaberry wrapped Young’s body in a sheet.

After they cleaned up the basement and showered, the men allegedly took Young’s body to a Dumpster.

Griffin, the complaint states, told police he received a call from Stewart, who told him, “The deed is done.”

Police investigators found blood in the basement on the walls and floor and a piece of duct tape with Stewart’s fingerprint.

The complaint also contains a statement from Stewart, who allegedly told police that Mcalister wanted to kill Young in the kitchen but Stewart told him not to do it there.

He said Mcalister, Allen, Seaberry and Griffin took Young to the basement and that Griffin provided the bag that was placed over Young’s head.

Stewart said Mcalister shot Young three times and that, after they cleaned up the basement, Griffin provided everyone with a change of clothing.

Young’s body has not been found. For 13 days, authorities searched a landfill but did not find his remains.

5 arrested in Milwaukee in slaying of transgender rapper

Milwaukee police have now arrested five people in connection with the death of transgender rapper Evon “Yung LT” Young, who was reported missing on New Year’s Day.

The 22-year-old transgender man was reported last seen in public near North 52nd Street and West Custer Avenue later on Jan. 1 and did not report for work. Young’s mother filed a missing person report with the Milwaukee Police Department on Jan. 2.

On Jan. 23, the arrest of three people in connection with the case — Victor Stewart, 27, Ashanti Mcalister, 19, and Billy R. Griffin, 26, Young’s roommate. Later on the day, the arrests of Ron Joseph Allen, 37, and Devin L. Seaberry, 23, were reported.

The Milwaukee District Attorney’s office has charged all five with first-degree intentional homicide.

The criminal complaint states that investigators suspect Young was killed in the basement of the residence he shared with Griffin in what began as a gang re-initiation test for Griffin.

According to the complaint, Young and Griffin were home when the door bell rang. Stewart and Mcalister were at the door, along with Allen and Seaberry. The men entered and went into the kitchen, where an argument ensued.

Griffin allegedly told police that the men began to punch Young and said the victim could not be trusted. Young then was led to the basement, where the attackers choked Young with a chain. Then they placed a plastic bag over his head, rendering Young unconscious. The assailants beat and shot Young, possibly as many as three times. Mcalister allegedly fired the weapon.

Authorities allege the basement was cleaned with beach. Evidence collected in the crime includes DNA, blood, burned clothing and a chain.

Both Griffin and Stewart allegedly made admissions to police, who were searching a landfill on Jan. 23 for Young’s body, which the men allegedly placed in a Dumpster.

The defendants are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 31.

In a statement on Jan. 23, FORGE, a transgender rights and support group, said, “FORGE sends its condolences to Young’s family and friends. We also recognize that when anyone is killed or harmed, those who share the victim’s identity may react with intense grief, anger or fear. We ask our community to be caring, compassionate and supportive of each other as we acknowledge the pervasiveness of violence in our culture, and the accompanying sorrow many of us are feeling.”

Regarding reports on Young’s life and death, FORGE asked for accuracy and respect in coverage. The statement said, “Several media outlets have inaccurately characterized Young’s gender. In interviews with his mother, (Annette) Cross-Perry has consistently referred to her child as male and with masculine pronouns and name. FORGE encourages all media and individuals talking about this case to respectfully use masculine pronouns (he, him, his) and name (Evon, or his rapper name YuNG LT).”

arrested

Police: Gang slaying gay men in South African province

South African police claim that a gang is responsible for the serial slaying of at least eight gay men in Gauteng province since 2010.

Authorities in Gauteng said they had identified a common suspect in four cases and believe a gang is responsible for all the killings, according to the Star newspaper.

Over the weekend, authorities arrested three men in connection with the death of Barney van Herdeen more than a year ago.

Major-Gen. Norman Taioe, who leads the detective branch in the Gauteng police department, told the newspaper that a team of detectives was formed to investigate that case and seven others, as well as search for additional suspects.

The killers, according to police, gain the trust of victims to get invited in to their homes. There, the gay men are killed and their property stolen.

The recent arrests prompted authorities to caution men about stranger-danger but until last week, just prior to the first arrests, Taioe had said there was no connection in the killings.

Civil rights groups have said the caution should have come earlier and have been critical about delays in the investigation. The first death occurred in April 2010, followed by six killings in 2011 and one in 2012.

3 in Atlanta sentenced to prison for beating gay man

Three young men have been sentenced to five years in prison for the videotaped beating of a gay man on an Atlanta street corner that was captured in a widely viewed video.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Dorian Moragne, Dareal Demare Williams and Christopher Cain were also given five years of probation on Friday.

Their sentences stems from the Feb. 4 beating of 20-year-old Brandon White.

The fourth suspect, identified as Javaris Bradford, is still at large.

Defense Attorney Jay Abt, who represents Moragne, says probation will include intensive community service and sensitivity education following their prison term.

The video showed men punching and kicking White as he walked out of a grocery store in the city’s Pittsburgh neighborhood, south of downtown. Gay slurs were heard on the video, and one man slammed a tire on him.

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