Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kentucky men acquitted of hate-crime, but found guilty of kidnapping charges

Cousins Anthony Ray Jenkins and David Jason Jenskins

The Advocate is reporting that cousins Anthony Ray Jenkins and David Jason Jenkins were found guilty of kidnapping in the 2011 attack on Kevin Pennington, who is gay.

However, they were acquitted of hate-crime charges.

Federal prosecutors had argued that the Jenkinses planned to kidnap, beat and kill Pennington because of his sexual orientation. Defense attorneys argued the dispute happened because of a drug deal turned sour. Attorney Willis Coffey suggested that Pennington’s allegations were motivated by a political agenda.

“Coffey said Pennington pushed the idea that he was attacked for being gay to serve his own political agenda,” according to the AP. “Coffey invoked the name of President Barack Obama, who is unpopular in Kentucky and lost badly in the state four years ago.”

President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009. The legislation expanded federal hate-crime law to cover sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or gender.

The Jenkinses are scheduled to be sentenced in February.

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