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Paul D. Cramm

Kansas City Man Gets 6 Months In Hate Crime


36-year-old Gregory Duncan punched a marine for favoring a gay friend and he didn’t appear on his hearing.

For the offense, he was sentenced by Douglas County District Judge Leigh Ann Retelsdorf to 1 year to 1 and a half year in jail. He will serve 6 months before becoming eligible for parole, 9 months prior to his release from jail, according to the state law where he lives.

After the sentencing, Duncan’s lawyer James Martin Davis told, “There were 2 assaults in this case. My client assaulted a man in the Old Market. And he assaulted himself by shooting himself in the foot when he failed to show up and was late for court.”

The jury found that in the month of February, Duncan had punched Ryan Langenegger, who is shorter in height as well as lighter in weight than him after 1 of Duncan’s friends called a man “faggot” in the post-bar crowds. The incident happened in downtown Omaha.

The main cause why Langenegger was punched was that he was with Joshua Foo and Jacob Gellinger, who was wearing a drag that night, according to the prosecutors.

On Wednesday, Deputy Douglas County Attorney Jim Masteller said, “When someone punches someone in the face because of race or sexual orientation … that person is a victim, but we as a society are also victims”.

Duncan saw himself a victim on Wednesday and he replied, “Just that this whole thing destroyed my life … as far as my job, my career. I have a felony on my record …” when the judge permitted to say what is in his mind.

When the incident happened, Duncan was working in the Omaha area and he had not been appearing on time after almost every break in his February trial.

His sentencing was scheduled in the month of May and he didn’t appear in court. An arrest warrant was issued by Retelsdorf.

Duncan said on Wednesday that his actions were not hate-based. He added, “Absolutely in no way was it to harm someone because of someone’s sexual orientation. I was protecting a friend” and for not obeying the court order for the hearing schedule, he defended himself by saying, “I was under a lot of stress. … No one ever heard my side of the story”.

Masteller mocked and said that Duncan testified on his own behalf at trial. 12 jurors were present there from which none accepted that he acted in self-defense.

Prosecutors told the whole story which happened at the crime scene.

Joey Adriano, Duncans’s friend who was under the influence of alcohol, was walking near Gellinger’s table at the downtown restaurant. Adriano continued saying, “Should I? Should I?” to Gellinger as he was wearing a skirt with halter top. There was a wig on his head and he was wearing platform heels.

Just before the restaurants closing time, the path of Langenegger, Foo and Gellinger was blocked as the two groups filed out. Langenegger told that he said to the guys they didn’t want to fight after which Adriano called him “Faggot” and Gellinger replied, “I know. I’m just a boy in a dress”. Then Adriano said, “You’re (expletive) disgusting,” Langenegger told the whole story. He added that he repeatedly requested to unblock their way but before he could finish the request, he was punched by a heavy man, who happened to be Duncan.

According to Masteller, there was no reason other than that Gellinger was gay but Davis said that Duncan was “sacrificed at the altar of political correctness.”

Langenegger sustained serious injury due to the punch as there was a gash between his eyes and 3 chipped teeth. He asked Duncan: “Why did you do that?”

According to Retelsdorf, now Duncan has to serve jail for the offense.

Retelsdorf didn’t sentence Duncan the maximum 5 years in jail because it was just a punch and added, “This court is not going to make this case into the poster case for anything but the court also recognizes that discrimination-based crimes do have a different impact on our social fabric”.

News Source: www.Omaha.com

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About the Author

This practice has been exclusively devoted to all levels of criminal defense from misdemeanor offenses in municipal court to felony matters in the Federal courts of Kansas and the Western District of Missouri. Paul D. Cramm is qualified to provide defense in Capital and Death Penalty cases.

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