Suspects In Possible Montrose Hate Crime Appear In Court

Montrose (AP) Two men accused of killing a gay man in Montrose have returned to court, even though prosecutors still haven't decided whether to pursue hate–crime charges. Twenty–four–year–old Todd Fiske and 21–year–old Adam Hernandez face murder, robbery and other charges in the death of Kevin Hale. The 36–year–old man was found dead late last month.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Adams says prosecutors are
trying to sort through 600 pages of case documents, and haven't decided whether to add hate–crime charges. Colorado's hate–crimes law was expanded last month to include crimes motivated by anti–gay bias.

A judge Thursday scheduled a joint preliminary hearing for October 6th. Fiske and hernandez could face life in prison, or the death penalty, if convicted.

Hale's ex–wife, Tammy Gonzales, has said she thinks Hale was targeted because of his sexuality, and says he would sometimes call her indicating he was scared. The couple divorced after ten years of marriage in 1997, when Hale acknowledged his sexual orientation. The two have a 13–year–old son.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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