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.
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)