Police: Suspect in Marine's Death Used Antigay Slur

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 23 2012 9:49 AM ET

A 20-year-old Marine in Washington, D.C. has been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a fellow service member — an attack that began with an antigay slur, according to police.

The Associated Press reports that Michael Joseph Poth, who lives in the Marine Barracks in Southeast Washington, stabbed Philip Bushong in the chest with a pocketknife early Saturday in the Barracks Row neighborhood.

Bushong later died at a hospital. A Marine Barracks spokesman said the Marines are cooperating with the investigation.

Outserve, a gay and lesbian service member organization, said in a statement over the weekend, “We are troubled by the specter that this might have been a hate crime; if so, we anticipate the authorities will pursue it to the fullest extent of the law.

“This is particularly upsetting since, overall, gay and lesbian Marines have been accepted and treated equally in the force since repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” the group said in a statement. “We look forward to the results of a swift and thorough investigation of this tragic incident.”

The AP story here, via Washington Post.