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Vancouver man found guilty in killing of gay man

Vancouver man found guilty in killing of gay man

A Vancouver, Canada, man was found guilty Friday of beating to death a gay photographer three years ago, a case that shocked and galvanized Vancouver's gays and lesbians. Ryan Cran, 22, was released on bail until his sentencing January 27. Naked but for his shoes, Aaron Webster, 41, was found by a friend on the morning of November 17, 2001, in a park popular among gay men. Cran was found guilty of manslaughter by Judge Mary Humphries. His alleged accomplice, Danny Rao, also 22, was acquitted of the same charge because Humphries found insufficient evidence to prove he took part in the beating. Two minors, who cannot be named under Canadian law, have also pleaded guilty in the case, and each received two years in jail and one year of house arrest, the maximum under Canadian law. Outside court, Webster's sister, Faith Quintillan, read a statement from her mother, Joan Prokopetz. "Aaron was a peaceful, kind, loving human being," Quintillan said. "We hope he'll be remembered that way, and not as the homosexual murdered in Stanley Park." The court was told that a gang of youths went to the park looking for "Peeping Toms." Walking dark, forested park trails in the early-morning hours, they came across the naked Webster. They pursued him and beat him with baseball bats and pool cues, according to the youths' testimony. The courtroom was packed with members of Vancouver's gay community. Many expressed outrage at Rao's acquittal and Cran's release until sentencing. "He killed a man!" Vancouver Pride Society president Shawn Ewing shouted at the judge. The day after Webster's death thousands of people marched in protest of violence against gays and in memory of Webster. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life in prison.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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