Two new developments in the case of three college students brutally slain in a Newark schoolyard. The sixth and final suspect remains in Maryland and WABC reports he will fight extradition. Twenty-four-year-old Nicaraguan national Rodolfo Godinez (left) has been identified as a "principal player" in the alleged gang initiation and triple murders of Dashon Harvey, Terrance Aeriel and Iofemi Hightower.
Godinez' half-brother is one of two 16-year-old suspects arrested in connection with the case. New reports at Blue Jersey—which has been monitoring the gay angle in the triple murders—say the juvenile suspect attended the same high school as one of the victims. "The were friends from high school, and like all high school kids, hung out in a certain clique. Some of the kids who hung with that clique were gay, some weren't, but it was widely known as "the gay clique." And at least one of the killers went to West Side High, knew the victims as belonging to that clique, and would likely have perceived them all as gay."
Keep in mind that New Jersey's hate crimes law is written to cover "not only crimes perpetrated because of a victim's sexual orientation, but also of their perceived orientation." Mayor Cory Booker says these shootings were not a hate crime motivated by race. That may be true, but, the sexuality of at least one of the victims—or perception of them all—may change that finding.
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Newark Triple Murders an Anti-Gay Hate Crime? [R20]