Friday, June 19, 2015

Duncan says gay hate crime conviction "ruined my life"

Gregory Duncan seems to have little remorse about sucker-punching Ryan Langenegger* (10 inches shorter and 90 pounds lighter than Duncan) in 2013, chipping three of Langenegger's teeth and putting a gash in his face. When asked by Douglas County District Judge Leigh Ann Retelsdorf at his sentencing yesterday if he had anything to say, Duncan responded:
“Just that this whole thing destroyed my life ... as far as my job, my career. I have a felony on my record ...”
Duncan was late returning to court after almost every break in his February trial, nodded off at times and had to be re-arrested and delivered to court in Omaha from Kansas City after skipping his sentencing hearing in May.
“Absolutely in no way was it to harm someone because of someone’s sexual orientation. I was protecting a friend,” he said.
     Like many bullies who lie to themselves and others to bolster their self-esteem, Duncan claimed he was protecting someone — his friend — after one of Duncan's buds called one of Langenegger's friends a faggot and menaced him by sneering asking, "Should I? Should I?"
     Langenegger had interposed himself between Duncan's antagonistic buddies when Duncan sucker-punched him:
     “I was under a lot of stress. ... No one ever heard my side of the story.”
     Masteller scoffed at the notion. He noted that Duncan testified on his own behalf at trial. Twelve jurors listened to and rejected Duncan’s contention that he acted in self-defense.
*Langenegger is not gay and no one maintained in court that Duncan uttered any antigay disparagement before belting him; nevertheless, Omaha prosecutors got a jury to agree that his actions constituted a hate crime because of he ran interference for his friend or friends who homophobically harassed Langenegger's gay friends. They didn't buy defense attorney James Martin Davis's contention that the Duncan's attack was akin to a bar fight between two heteros. Remember that the next time you hear a DA argue that successfully prosecuting gay hate crimes is extraordinarily difficult.

Below: surveillance video of part of the incident aired by KMTV last February, showing Duncan's friend menacing Langenegger's party inside an Old Market Pepperjax:

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