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A man convicted of killing a gay artist in Bucks County, Pa., nearly 20 years ago will get a new trial, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused last week to overturn an appeals court ruling. Richard Laird, 37, was convicted in the 1987 slaying of Anthony Milano.
Prosecutors said Laird and his friend Frank Chester, now 35, harassed Milano in a bar because he was gay, forced him to buy them drinks, and then left the bar with him. His body was found along a road near his burning car. He'd been beaten, and his throat had been cut. Last August an appeals court ordered a new trial, citing erroneous jury instructions and prejudicial comments by the prosecutor. The federal court also noted the fact that Laird was shackled during his first trial and that his defense attorney failed to present evidence of childhood sexual abuse, head injuries, and alcoholism. Chester is also appealing his conviction. (Sirius OutQ News)