This Week in the Mercury

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mixed Verdict in Alleged Blow Pony Gay Bashing

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM

The verdict is in on the long-awaited trial of an alleged gay bashing that occurred outside Blow Pony back in April 2009.

I detailed the whole story in court yesterday. Local DJ and queer activist Airick Heater pressed charges against alleged basher Blake McCune, who was on trial for two crimes: intimidating someone because of their sexual orientation and interfering with a police report, for slapping a cell phone out of Heater's hand as he tried to call 911

This morning the jury determined that McCune was guilty of interfering with a police report. But they determined he was not guilty of intimidation for calling Heater a "fag" and allegedly punching him in the face.

The not guilty is probably a result of the seriously conflicting stories witnesses told yesterday about the incident. Two witnesses (who are McCune's friends) told the jury that no one was shouting gay slurs during the incident, as Heater alleged, and that no one was punched in the face. A prosecution witness (who was friends with neither side) said he definitely saw McCune punch Heater in the face, but could not speak to hearing any of the gay slurs.

Update 2:21pm— For the crime of interfering with a police report, McCune received 18 months probation and 80 hours of community service. His lawyer, Troy Pickard, says McCune plans to do the community service with some type of GLBT advocacy group.

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