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|Only one Marine to face charges in beating of Savannah gay man|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|September 16, 2010 15:45|
One of the two U.S. Marines originally accused in the beating of a gay man in Savannah will not face any criminal charges, a judge ruled today.
The Savannah Morning News reported the ruling from Chatham County Recorder's Court Judge Claire Cornwell-Williams:
A battery charge against Beaufort, S.C.-based Marine Sgt. Keil Cronauer today was dismissed in the June attack on a gay Savannah man.
Chatham County Recorder's Court Judge Claire Cornwell-Williams ordered the charge against Cronauer, 22, dismissed, ruling she could not find sufficient reason to send the charge to state court.
She took under advisement the charge last week in order to review a video of the scene immediately preceding the attack in Johnson Square. Kieran Daly, 26, was struck from behind near the SunTrust Bank on Johnson Square early June 12.
The other U.S. Marine charged in the attack on Kieran Daly — Christopher C. Stanzel, 23 — still faces a misdemeanor battery charge in the case.
LGBT activists, including Georgia Equality, in Atlanta and Savannah called for the crime to be considered a hate crime. However, after an investigation by the FBI and the Chatham County DA’s office, it was decided the incident did not carry the merit to be considered a hate crime.
According to a Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department report, Daly was allegedly attacked at about 3:45 a.m. on June 12.
Daly’s friend, Alison Brennan, told police “they were all eating pizza [in Johnson Square] and were joking around with the two subjects when Mr. Cronauer got upset because he found out Mr. Daly was a homosexual. She continued to state that she was trying to get Mr. Daly to walk away because she heard Mr. Cronauer tell him ‘did you just wink at me!’
“At which point she stated Mr. Stanzel walked behind Mr. Daly and when she turned her attention to them Mr. Daly was on the ground unconscious. She immediately ran to him and in passing asked Mr. Stanzel, ‘did you just hit him?’ Mr. Stanzel’s response was ‘No’ and took off running with Mr. Cronauer heading west on Congress St.
“She then went to the aid of Mr. Daly and she stated he did not have a pulse at first. She then gave him some ‘chest rubs’ and all Mr. Daly did was lift his eyebrows but did not wake up.”
Police found the two suspects in a fenced, empty lot after they were seen running “full sprint” from where Daly was injured. They told police they were waiting for friends.
“Mr. Cronauer stated that they were being harassed by a white homosexual male earlier in the evening and just wanted to get away and meet their friend on Bay St. Mr. Stanzel stated that he was going to meet a friend on River St.,” according to the police report.
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