November 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Allred calls for hate crime probe in Betts case

Gloria Allred, an attorney known for taking on high-profile celebrity cases, said today she will call on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the murder of gay D.C. middle school principal Brian Betts to determine if the killing was motivated by anti-gay bias.

Allred made the statements at a news conference following the sentencing of defendant Alante Saunders, 19, to 40 years in jail for the murder of Betts. Saunders pleaded guilty last month to first-degree felony murder.

Betts’ family has hired Allred to represent their interests. They may pursue a hate crime charge with the U.S. Justice Department and Allred said she will seek an explanation from the D.C. government about how a defendant in the case was allowed to escape a halfway house to commit the crime.

The Blade will have more on today’s developments in the Betts case later this evening.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • Finally! This was clearly a hate crime. The kid who killed Mr. Betts should be on death row; his accomplices should be locked away for life. And the slim-ball mother who used Mr. Betts credit cards should be in jail. I am thrilled the Betts family got Ms. Allred, a high-profile attorney to take on the case.

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