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NEWS
March 5, 1999 | From Associated Press
Two men who claimed to be angry over a sexual advance plotted a gay acquaintance's murder for two weeks, then beat him to death with an ax handle and burned his body on old tires, police said Thursday. Steven Eric Mullins, 25, and Charles Monroe Butler Jr., 21, were arrested earlier this week and charged Thursday with murder in the slaying of Billy Jack Gaither, 39. They were held on $500,000 bail. The charges brought by police carry a maximum of life in prison.
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NEWS
April 29, 2001 | From Associated Press
Prosecutors rested their case Saturday against an ex-Ku Klux Klansman accused in a deadly church bombing after jurors heard a secretly recorded tape in which he boasted about not being caught "when I bomb my next church." The comment by Thomas Blanton Jr. was among dozens recorded more than 35 years ago by Mitchell Burns, a Klansman turned paid FBI informant.
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NEWS
March 24, 1999 | JULIE CART, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Matthew Shepard was a frequent patron at the Fireside Bar and Lounge. Lots of folks here were. The college freshman was remembered as being a good listener and a good tipper. But for all the times he went to the beery hangout, he never noticed two other men his age, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. The roof repairmen were remembered, too, for coming in after work with grimy hands and paying for their beer with small change.
NEWS
August 6, 1999 | From Times Wire Services
A former construction worker accused of helping kill a gay man, allegedly because of an unwanted sexual advance, was convicted Thursday of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole. Charles M. Butler Jr., 21, was convicted in the slaying of Billy Jack Gaither, 39, who had his throat slashed and was beaten to death. His body then was burned on a pile of old tires. The victim's father asked that Butler not be sentenced to death.
NEWS
July 11, 1997 | Associated Press
Citing new information, the Justice Department said Thursday it has reopened its investigation of a 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls and changed the course of the civil rights movement. The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, along with the slayings of three young civil rights workers in Mississippi the following year, helped expose the depth of racial hatred in the South. It has been credited by many with building congressional support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
NEWS
August 5, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A skinhead who pleaded guilty to killing a gay man testified in Rockford, Ala., that his co-defendant did not strike the fatal blows but joined him in a scheme to lure the victim to a remote area with the promise of sex. Steven Eric Mullins, 25, has pleaded guilty to capital murder in the Feb. 19 death of Billy Jack Gaither, 39, who was beaten with an ax handle and whose throat was cut. Charles M. Butler Jr.
NEWS
October 24, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Federal grand jurors in Birmingham, Ala., are hearing testimony in the reopened case of a 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls. The Rev. John Cross, who was pastor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church at the time of the explosion, said after his testimony that he had no trouble recalling the dynamite blast. In 1977, Ku Klux Klansman Robert Chambliss was convicted of murder in the explosion.
NEWS
August 3, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A construction worker accused of killing a gay man over an unwanted sexual advance rejected a plea bargain in a Rockford, Ala., court, refusing to plead guilty in exchange for a guarantee he wouldn't get the death penalty. Charles M. Butler is one of two men charged in the Feb. 19 slaying of Billy Jack Gaither, 39, who was beaten with an ax handle and burned atop a pile of kerosene-soaked tires.
NEWS
April 29, 2001 | From Associated Press
Prosecutors rested their case Saturday against an ex-Ku Klux Klansman accused in a deadly church bombing after jurors heard a secretly recorded tape in which he boasted about not being caught "when I bomb my next church." The comment by Thomas Blanton Jr. was among dozens recorded more than 35 years ago by Mitchell Burns, a Klansman turned paid FBI informant.
NEWS
August 6, 1999 | From Times Wire Services
A former construction worker accused of helping kill a gay man, allegedly because of an unwanted sexual advance, was convicted Thursday of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole. Charles M. Butler Jr., 21, was convicted in the slaying of Billy Jack Gaither, 39, who had his throat slashed and was beaten to death. His body then was burned on a pile of old tires. The victim's father asked that Butler not be sentenced to death.
NEWS
August 5, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A skinhead who pleaded guilty to killing a gay man testified in Rockford, Ala., that his co-defendant did not strike the fatal blows but joined him in a scheme to lure the victim to a remote area with the promise of sex. Steven Eric Mullins, 25, has pleaded guilty to capital murder in the Feb. 19 death of Billy Jack Gaither, 39, who was beaten with an ax handle and whose throat was cut. Charles M. Butler Jr.
NEWS
August 3, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A construction worker accused of killing a gay man over an unwanted sexual advance rejected a plea bargain in a Rockford, Ala., court, refusing to plead guilty in exchange for a guarantee he wouldn't get the death penalty. Charles M. Butler is one of two men charged in the Feb. 19 slaying of Billy Jack Gaither, 39, who was beaten with an ax handle and burned atop a pile of kerosene-soaked tires.
NEWS
July 6, 1999 | From Associated Press
A former Ku Klux Klansman suspected in a 1963 Alabama church bombing that killed four black girls claimed he watched wrestling on TV at home the night before the explosion, but the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported that no such program aired.
NEWS
March 24, 1999 | JULIE CART, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Matthew Shepard was a frequent patron at the Fireside Bar and Lounge. Lots of folks here were. The college freshman was remembered as being a good listener and a good tipper. But for all the times he went to the beery hangout, he never noticed two other men his age, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. The roof repairmen were remembered, too, for coming in after work with grimy hands and paying for their beer with small change.
NEWS
March 6, 1999 | EDITH STANLEY and J.R. MOEHRINGER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
People here never dreamed they'd become famous for hate, not in a town that prides itself on being the birthplace of Jim Nabors, TV's lovable Gomer Pyle. But now, residents in this rural part of central Alabama must cope with the news that two local men have committed the latest hate crime to horrify the nation. To a growing list of nationally mourned victims--including Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay student in Wyoming, and James Byrd Jr.
NEWS
March 5, 1999 | From Associated Press
Two men who claimed to be angry over a sexual advance plotted a gay acquaintance's murder for two weeks, then beat him to death with an ax handle and burned his body on old tires, police said Thursday. Steven Eric Mullins, 25, and Charles Monroe Butler Jr., 21, were arrested earlier this week and charged Thursday with murder in the slaying of Billy Jack Gaither, 39. They were held on $500,000 bail. The charges brought by police carry a maximum of life in prison.
NEWS
July 6, 1999 | From Associated Press
A former Ku Klux Klansman suspected in a 1963 Alabama church bombing that killed four black girls claimed he watched wrestling on TV at home the night before the explosion, but the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported that no such program aired.
NEWS
January 20, 1996 | ERIC HARRISON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
This rural town is sifting through the ashes that have come like a bad memory to haunt its dreams. Church fires are lighting up the night in this isolated corner of the state. The echoes of civil rights-era violence the fires evoke have been just as shocking as they are painful to the targeted African American congregations. "That's part of the disturbing nature of this," said Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the U.S.
NEWS
October 24, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Federal grand jurors in Birmingham, Ala., are hearing testimony in the reopened case of a 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls. The Rev. John Cross, who was pastor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church at the time of the explosion, said after his testimony that he had no trouble recalling the dynamite blast. In 1977, Ku Klux Klansman Robert Chambliss was convicted of murder in the explosion.
NEWS
July 11, 1997 | Associated Press
Citing new information, the Justice Department said Thursday it has reopened its investigation of a 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls and changed the course of the civil rights movement. The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, along with the slayings of three young civil rights workers in Mississippi the following year, helped expose the depth of racial hatred in the South. It has been credited by many with building congressional support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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