The Sexist

Tony Hunter Suspect Robert Hannah Arrested

18-year-old Robert Hannah was arrested yesterday in relation to the death of Tony Randolph Hunter. Last week, D.C. police secured an arrest warrant charging Hannah with Voluntary Manslaughter in Hunter's death. The case is still not classified as a hate crime, police say. According to a press release:

Of particular interest to members of the GLBT community, Chief Lanier stated the case was thoroughly reviewed by prosecutors at the United States Attorney’s Office and there is no evidence to support a hate crime enhancement. Furthermore, Chief Lanier indicated the initial suspected motive of robbery was eventually determined by investigators to not be correct and that the death of Mr. Hunter resulted from an altercation between Mr. Hunter and Mr. Hanna, during which Mr. Hunter suffered injuries which lead to his death.

Mr. Hanna will be presented in the District of Columbia Superior Court, at which time a judge will determine if he will be released or jailed pending the judicial process.

Note: I've seen different spellings of the suspect's name, re: Hanna/Hannah, from MPD documents. Will update when I get word from MPD.

Full statement after the jump.

From GLLU Community Outreach Specialist Matt Ashburn:

On October 15, 2008, members of the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPDC) Joint Fugitive Task force located and arrested 18 year old Robert Hanna, who was being sought pursuant to a District of Columbia Superior Court arrest warrant charging him with Voluntary Manslaughter, related to the death of Tony Randolph Hunter.

Members of the MPDC's Homicide Branch, particularly Detectives Jacqueline Middleton and Jed Worrell, along with members of the Joint Fugitive Task Force, worked tirelessly to ensure the capture of Mr. Hanna. Chief Lanier held a press conference this afternoon, during which she thanked members of the community who had cooperated with investigators and also the countless tips that were forwarded to investigators using the MPDC’s TIP line.

Of particular interest to members of the GLBT community, Chief Lanier stated the case was thoroughly reviewed by prosecutors at the United States Attorney’s Office and there is no evidence to support a hate crime enhancement. Furthermore, Chief Lanier indicated the initial suspected motive of robbery was eventually determined by investigators to not be correct and that the death of Mr. Hunter resulted from an altercation between Mr. Hunter and Mr. Hanna, during which Mr. Hunter suffered injuries which lead to his death.

Mr. Hanna will be presented in the District of Columbia Superior Court, at which time a judge will determine if he will be released or jailed pending the judicial process.

Matt W. Ashburn, Auxiliary #1314
Special Liaison Unit
Executive Office of the Chief of Police
Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department
1369-A Connecticut Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036
E-mail: matthew.ashburn@dc.gov

  • TJ the Girl

    Are you freaking kidding me??? Why the hell else would they be having an altercation? Tony Hunter did not know that punk. He was just trying to go have a good time at the BeBar. What reason would that boy have to say anything to Tony besides it being something obnoxiously ignorant about him going to a gay bar?

    Not a hate crime, my ass...

  • Jon

    Two things...

    1. This post appeared in my RSS reader in a teeny tiny font size. What gives?

    2. Is the MPD press release available online for us to read in full. Or, can you post it? Thanks!

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/columns/showandtell/ Amanda Hess

    Hey Jon, I had some font issues when I first posted this! But they've since been fixed. I'll update the post right now with the full presser after the jump.

  • Jon

    Thanks for the release, Amanda.

    Why is MPD waiting for the federal prosecutor to determine whether this was a sexual orientation-motivated hate crime? My understanding of the federal hate crimes statute is that it is available when the local prosecutor declines to charge as a hate crime, or when there is no hate crime statute in the local jurisdiction. Doesn't DC have its own statute that recognizes sexual orientation-motivated hate crimes?

    Also how does MPDC stand for Metropolitan Police Department? Where does the C come from?

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/columns/showandtell/ Amanda Hess

    Jon,

    I have a line out to the GLLU for more info on the process. You're right, D.C. does have its own statute---The Bias-Related Crime Act of 1989 (DC Code §§ 22-4001 to 22-4004).

    As for MPDC---you've got me on that one. I've seen it written both ways (MPD and MPDC), but "Metropolitan Police Department" is such a generic name for a police department that maybe they just consolidated the D's to make it more pronounceable/recognizable.

  • Ron

    Wow!
    What is so utterly repulsive is the lack of media exposure of what is obviously a hate crime. I think DC, and Chief Lanier will wage a campaign of silence as numerous members of the gay community are beaten, robbed, and murdered with impunity. Deflecting criticism has become essential to DC metro police since so many horrific crimes occur on such a frequent basis.

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