Crothersville - There are new details in the murder of a Crothersville man whose body was found hidden in a garage earlier this week. Court documents show the suspects severely beat 35-year-old Aaron Hall, then dumped his body in a ditch. The victim's family now calls the murder a hate crime.
When Thomas Hall read court documents describing his brother's death, he was stunned. "It was a brutal crime against my brother and I feel this is a hate crime," said Thomas Hall. Police found Aaron Hall's badly beaten body hidden inside a garage on Sunday. Charged in connection with the murder were 19-year-old Garrett Gray, 18-year-old Coleman King and 21-year-old Robert Hendricks. Police made the arrests after receiving a tip from Garrett Gray's friend.
The tipster got a multi-media text message on his cell phone from the suspects. In the photo, Aaron Hall appeared with the suspects' arms around him. Hall had a swollen lip, a black eye, and appeared badly beaten.
Police say on April 12th, Hall and the three suspects were drinking at Gray's house. The suspects told police Hall grabbed Coleman King and questioned his sexuality. That set off the deadly beating.
"And they're saying what's why they killed him. Because he was gay. And he wasn't gay," said Thomas Hall. "I don't know any crime on the planet that deserves that type of punishment." Court papers show Gray and King brutally attacked, then photographed Hall. King hit him with his boots at least 75 times. The suspects told police they dragged Hall down the steps, loaded him into Robert Hendricks' truck, and dumped his body in a ditch. They say they went back two days later, and found Hall in a nearby field. That's when they tell police they wrapped the body in a tarp and hid it in Gray's garage.
The homicide has left Aaron Hall's family horrified.
"My brother at times was a handful and I can see him getting beat up, but brutally murdered...a hate crime? I don't know what to say," said Thomas Hall.
Aaron Hall's funeral is Friday morning in Crothersville.
The suspects are being held in the Jackson County jail. Gray and King are charged with murder. Hendricks is charged with assisting a criminal. All three will stand trial in October.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Crothersville Man Brutally Killed Because Attackers Thought He Was Gay
Yet another man's life may have been taken because his attackers believed he was gay according to the family of a Crothersville man who was brutally beaten to death. The gruesome attack was equally as brutal as the killing of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming several years ago which gained national notoriety and led most states in the country to adopt hate crime laws. Aaron Hall was struck by one of the attackers boots at least 75 times before he was dragged down a flight of stairs, loaded into a pickup truck and dumped in a ditch according to WTHR. Two days later the attackers returned and found Hall dead in a field near where he was dumped. They wrapped his body in a tarp and hid it in one of the attacker's garages.
WHAS offers a different account. "Supposedly the victim, Aaron Hall, grabbed one of the suspects, Coleman King, in his private area and asked for oral sex." That led to a fight among the men which went on for hours according to WHAS. According to this account, the men returned later to the ditch where he had beed dumped and one of the attackers fired shots at him." Authorities learned of the killing after one of the attackers text-messaged a photograph of the badly beaten man with one of the attacker's arms around him. WTHR reports on this disturbing hate crime here in the Hoosier state:
Sadly, the Indiana legislature once again defeated legislative efforts to enact a hate crimes law just weeks ago. Indiana is just one of 5 states in the country without a hate crimes law. Homobigoted efforts by the American Family Association, Advance America and the Indiana Family Institute put the fear in lawmakers if they dared vote for any piece of legislation which included the words "sexual orientation" or "gender identity." These religious right groups falsely claimed the legislation criminalized thought and provided special protections for "homosexuals and cross-dressers."
Will Aaron Hall's death be enough to wake up the Indiana legislature to what is happening in a society where these intolerant fundamentalists are creating an environment of hate, which leads people to commit the absolute worst crimes against a person because they happen to be gay, lesbian or transgender, or in Aaron Hall's case, simply believe he's gay?
A video clip of the WTHR report by Jenny Runevitch can be viewed by clicking here.