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Florida men plead
guilty to beating death of gay waiter

Florida men plead
guilty to beating death of gay waiter

The retrial of two Greenacres, Fla., men previously convicted of beating to death a gay waiter abruptly ended Monday when both accepted plea agreements. Bryan Donahue, 23, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder motivated by hatred and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. William Dodge, 24, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to third-degree murder motivated by hatred. Both men got credit for more than seven years they have already spent in custody, ThePalm Beach Post reported for Tuesday's editions. Donahue and Dodge both also apologized to the family of 29-year-old Steven Goedereis, who was beaten to death in April 1998. Defense attorney Bert Winkler told jurors that Goedereis had made a flirtatious comment to Donahue. Both defendants denied they attacked Goedereis because he was gay. But prosecutors said Monday the 118-pound waiter was "intentionally selected because of his sexual orientation." Goedereis died two days after the attack. The retrial began last week. In 1999, Donahue was convicted of second-degree murder and robbery and sentenced to 50 years in prison. A separate jury convicted Dodge of third-degree murder; he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. An appeals court reversed both convictions, ruling that defense attorneys should have been allowed to have a medical expert testify that paramedics could have contributed to Goedereis's death by not properly inserting his breathing tube. (AP)

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