General Clark to meet with Winchell's parents

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 13 2003 11:00 PM ET

The parents of Pfc. Barry Winchell, who was killed in a bias-related attack at Fort Campbell, Ky., in 1999, are meeting on Tuesday with Maj. Gen. Robert T. Clark, the officer in charge when their son was beaten to death, The Kansas City Star reports. Wally and Pat Kutteles have waited four years for the meeting at the Pentagon. The Kansas City couple plan to confront Clark on his connection to the killing. "We want to know why [Clark] allowed the homophobic atmosphere to exist, and if he wasn't aware of it, why wasn't he aware of it?" Patricia Kutteles said. "Why was alcohol so rampant on the base, and why has it taken four years for him to agree to meet with us?"

Winchell, 21, died after he was struck in the head with a baseball bat as he slept. Some soldiers at the base thought Winchell was gay because of his relationship with a transgendered woman. Pvt. Calvin Glover, who struck Winchell, was sentenced to life in prison. Another soldier, Spc. Justin Fisher--who provided the bat, prodded Glover to strike, and then washed the blood from the weapon--is serving 12 1/2 years.

Clark is now stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. He has been nominated by President Bush for a promotion to three-star general. A spokesman for the base said Clark declined to comment about the meeting with the Kutteleses.