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D.C. man sentenced to 50 years for gay murder

Victim met killer though gay chat line

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A D.C. Superior Court judge on June 30 sentenced 21-year-old Antwan Holcomb to 50 years in prison for the December 2009 shooting death of gay D.C. resident Anthony Perkins.

Police and prosecutors said Holcomb, a District resident, met Perkins through a gay telephone chat line on Dec. 27, 2009, with the intent of luring him to a secluded street in Southeast D.C. for the purposing of robbing him.

During his trial earlier this year, prosecutors said Holcomb shot Perkins in the head at point blank range inside Perkins’ car that same day and made off only with a single pack of Newport cigarettes.

“Antwan Holcomb shot a man in the head for a pack of cigarettes,” said Ronald C. Machen Jr., the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, in the statement released Thursday.

“It is difficult to imagine a more senseless murder, but it is not surprising from a criminal who two weeks earlier shot another man in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down,” Machen said.

Machen was referring to a separate incident in which Holcomb pleaded guilty to charges of assault with intent to kill and assault with a dangerous weapon. In a combined sentencing hearing June 30, Judge Lee Satterfield sentenced Holcomb to an additional period of incarceration for those offenses, resulting in a combined sentence of 88 years in prison.

“Today’s 88-year sentence is just punishment for a killer who showed such shocking disregard for human life,” Machen said.

In his trial for the Perkins murder, a Superior Court jury found Holcomb guilty of first-degree murder while armed, armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and carrying a pistol without a license outside the home.

In addition to the 50-year prison term for the murder conviction, Satterfield sentenced Holcomb to 15 years for the armed robbery count linked to the Perkins murder. But he ordered that the 15 years be served concurrently with the murder sentence, resulting in a total of 50 years to be served for the murder and robbery of Perkins.

The verdict followed a five-day trial in which a witness who knew Holcomb testified that he overheard Holcomb say on the night of the murder that he shot the “faggy” in the head and robbed him of a pack of cigarettes before fleeing the scene on foot.

In a video recording of an interview of Holcomb by D.C. police homicide detectives, which was shown to the jury during the trial, Holcomb said he called the gay chat line because he knew men who used the service had money and would not likely report being robbed by someone they met through the venue.

But he denied denied killing Perkins, saying someone else entered Perkins’ car and committed the murder. Prosecutors disputed that claim and pointed to evidence showing that Holcomb was the one who shot Perkins.

“I’m not of that nature…I’m a cold-blooded man,” he told the detectives, in explaining why he used the gay chat line. “I don’t like fags. I never will.”

The D.C. group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence said it planned to submit a pre-sentencing statement to Judge Satterfield calling for a lengthy prison term for Holcomb.

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Virginia

Va. delegate comes out as bisexual

Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler spoke at Hampton Roads Pride

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(Public domain photo)

Virginia state Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach) came out as bisexual on June 25 during an appearance at Hampton Roads Pride in Norfolk.

“I’m bisexual,” the Virginia Beach Democrat told Pride attendees. “I just never felt like I could say that out loud.”

Convirs-Fowler has represented Virginia’s 21st House District since 2018.

State Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax County) is gay and state Del. Dawn Adams (D-Richmond) is a lesbian. State Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) in 2018 became the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the U.S.

“For those who don’t know, Del. @FowlerforVA and I are both part of the Class of 2017 #RedToBlue legislators who flipped seats that Nov. 7,” tweeted Roem on Monday. “We’ve both earned re-election twice since then and I couldn’t be more proudof her declaration of Pride =).”

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Equality Loudoun hosts its first Pride celebration

‘Our plans for next year are going to be bigger, bolder’

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A scene from Loudoun Pride on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A year after a controversial brawl between parents and administration officials regarding the implementation of trans-friendly policies in public schools in Loudoun County, Va., a local LGBTQ organization hosted its inaugural Pride festival in solidarity with the area’s LGBTQ community.

“Pride means a chance to show this county that the loud voices who have been standing against LGBTQ equality do not represent the voices of [everyone] in the [county],” said Cris Candiace Tuck, president of Equality Loudoun. “[A lot of us] here believe in equality.”

Equality Loudoun hosted its Pride celebration on June 26 at Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Va. 

When planning for Pride month festivities, the organization designed the events to reflect the diverse interests and identities of Loudoun County’s queer population. There was a wide collection of vendors selling Pride merchandise, advocacy non-profit organizations and musical acts featured on the main stage. 

There was also a “Loudoun Pride Drag Stage” event where the “hottest of Loudoun Royalty” showcased their musical talents. 

“We want everyone to … recharge emotional batteries that have been drained,” said Tuck.

Planning Equality Loudoun’s Pride festival did not come without its fair share of surprises. Initially, the organization had planned for a smaller event. However, when more individuals began showing interest, the organization was forced to switch to a bigger venue to allow more vendors to attend.

“We had many vendors call in and we had to turn a [number] away,” said Tuck.

The organization planned its festivities in 90 days, two weeks during which it raised $45,000 — three times as much as it had originally expected.

Equality Loudoun has its sights set on getting LGBTQ community members and allies connected to the resources the organization offers through education and health advocacy.

“Pride [will always be] a celebration of our heritage,” said Tuck. “It’s a moment to recognize what we have gained and lost.”

Tuck said that ideas for next year are already underway.

“Our plans for next year are going to be bigger, bolder and brighter,” he said.

Click HERE to see more photos from the event.

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Comings & Goings

Cummings joins White House Office of National Cyber Director

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John Cummings

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected]

Congratulations to John Cummings on joining the Office of the National Cyber Director at the White House as Director of Supply Chain and Technology Security. Upon getting the position, he said, “I am beyond thrilled to join the growing team at the National Cyber Director’s Office and bring my experience to our mission of mitigating the cyber threats facing our nation and ensuring every American can enjoy the full benefits of the digital ecosystem. It is truly a privilege to work with this incredibly brilliant and collegial group of cyber experts.” 

Prior to joining the White House, Cummings served as Associate General Counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Before that role, he served as interim Chief Counsel for ODNI’s National Counterintelligence and Security Center and as Associate General Counsel for the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.

He has provided legal advice and counsel on matters of government-wide and interagency policy and national security in the areas of executive authority, cyber, constitutional law, civil rights and civil liberties, legislative affairs, and international cooperation. He has worked on recruiting LGBTQ, women, and minority applicants for government roles in national security and is experienced in public relations, stakeholder relationships, and international partnerships. 

Cummings began his career clerking for the Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and also clerked for the House Committee on Homeland Security and the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

He attended Villanova University where he received a bachelor’s degree in English. He earned his J.D. from Loyola Law, New Orleans, and his LL.M. in National Security Law from Georgetown Law.

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