- Hate Crimes: A Wikipedia Project
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: Arthur Warren & Paul Broussard
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: Nizah Morris
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: The Panic Rooms, Pt 1
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Carlos Lopez
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: Roxanne Ellis & Michelle Abdill
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: The Panic Rooms, Pt. 2
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: The Panic Rooms, Pt. 3
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: Eight Bullets
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: “Obeying God’s Law”
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: Nireah Johnson & Brandi Coleman
- Hate Crimes on Wikipedia: Michael Sandy
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Ukea Davis and Stephanie Thomas
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Dwan Prince
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Bella Evangelista
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Rivera & Garzon
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Emonie Spaulding
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: The Otherside Lounge
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Danny Overstreet
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: James Maestas
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Daniel Fetty
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: State of the Project
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Matthew Ashcraft
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Nick Moraida
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Kenneth Cummings Jr.
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: John Lloyd Griffin & Tommy Lee Trimble
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Fred Mangione
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Lisa Craig
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Satendar Singh
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Alfred Dibble
- The LGBT Hate Crime Project: Sean Ethan Owen
- Hate Crimes Act Conference Report
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Mikey Vallejo Seiber
- Hate Crimes Bill Hung Up?
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project:Amancio Corrales
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Chanelle Pickett
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Angie Zapata
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Jimmy Lee Dean
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Sakia Gunn
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Shanesha Stewart
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Steve Domer
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Victor Manious
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Walking in Memphis, Pt. 1 – Tiffany Berry
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Walking in Memphis, Pt. 2 – Duanna Johnson
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Walking in Memphis, Part 3 – Ebony Whitaker
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Simmie Williams
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Michael Goucher
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Steven Parrish
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Jimmy Lee Dean – Update
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Tony Randolph Hunter
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project … Returns
- The LGBT Hate Crimes Project: Bullied to Death – Asher Brown
One of the reasons I started The LGBT Hate Crimes Project was to document hate crimes that didn’t make national headlines, or get much notice beyond the local areas where they happened; the ones that tend to disappear into newpaper archives that no one can see without paying for the privilege. In fact, I’ve tried to make those cases a priority. That’s why I’ve yet to write up entries on Matthew Shepard, Brandon Teena, or Gwen Araujo. Not because what happened to them is less important than others, but because you don’t have to go very far to find information about them and the crimes against them. Entire movies have been made about them — The Laramie Project, A Girl Like Me, and of course Boys Don’t Cry.
But who’s going to make a movie about Daniel Fetty? Like some others, the story of what happened to Daniel Fetty — how he ended up beaten, stripped naked, and tossed in dumpster (like so much garbage) — was one I hadn’t heard until it was brought to my attention by Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin. When I read Jim’s account of Fetty’s murder, and why it was missing from FBI hate crime statistics
“One of the things that is really frustrating about this case is that not a lot of people have been paying attention to it,” commented Ms. McCauley. “Daniel was not a poster boy.” She compared Daniel Fetty’s case to that of Matthew Shepard, in which a young, good-looking, middle-class college student was beaten senseless and tied to a fence in Wyoming. Because Daniel was not young and attractive, she feared that his murder wouldn’t become a rallying cry, as has happened with Matthew Shepard’s case.
Alicia Purdy, Daniel’s friend and former roommate, simply said, “Dano was not just any ‘gay man.’ He was a brother, a son, a grandson, and a beloved friend.”
Daniel Fetty deserves to be counted.
I’d extend that to say that Daniel Fetty deserves to be counted because Daniel Fetty counted; because, like everyone whose case I’ve written about thus far, his life mattered to someone — he was someone’s brother, son, grandson and friend just as everyone else on the long and growing list. His life mattered because it was a human life, like everyone else’s. Period.
But so much of fighting for equality seems to count on the task of proving our humanity — a degrading task in and of itself — and thus worthy of human treatment instead of being treated like so much human garbage, which is essentially how Daniel Fetty was treated by his attackers.
Daniel Fetty (1966 – October 2, 2004) was a hearing-impaired, homeless gay man in Waverly, Ohio. On October 2, 2004, he was attacked by Martin Baxter, Matthew Ferman, and James Trent Jr. Fetty was beaten with bricks, bottles, boards, stripped naked and thrown into a dumpster. Fetty died in a hospital 12 hours after being found by police. His murder was prosecuted as a hate crime.
Fetty, 38, became homeless when his apartment was destroyed by fire. At the time he was attacked, Fetty was living in his car.1) He had begun working at Emmitt House, a local bar and restaurant, to save money for a new apartment.2)
On Friday, October 2, 2004 Fetty went to the Canal Pub in Waverly, OH. Baxter, 28, and Ferman, 22, were there as well, and Ferman got into an argument with Fetty, accusing Fetty of stealing a pack of cigarettes that he’d let on a table with money stuck under the cellophane. Outside the bar, Ferman was nicer to Fetty, even offering to sell him some marijuana.3)
Once outside, Ferman led Fetty across the street, to a parking lot behind a building, where he hit Fetty over the head with a beer bottle.
Ferman later said that Trent hit Fetty with a stick after he fell to the ground. Trent, 19, later told police that he was walking by when he heard Baxter call to him. Baxter then showed him Fetty, nude and unconscious in the garbage bin, and jumped up and down on Fetty while Ferman poked him with a piece of wood.4)
Plea agreements for that Ferman, Baxter, and Trent would ultimately prevent the details of the attack from being fully revealed in court. However, Fetty’s mother – Juanita Meek – would speak at Baxter’s plea hearing, and catalog her son’s injuries5):
“You put out both his eyes, broke his nose, knocked out his teeth, broke his Adam’s apple, broke his neck, broke all but one of his ribs and punctured his heart and lungs.”
Discovery & Death
Police were summoned to investigate a fight, and upon arriving on the scene at about 1:00 a.m., an officer spotted Baxter, Ferman, and Trent run behind a building. Upon investigation, the officer discovered Fetty – nude, beaten, and unconscious – in the dumpster.6) Fetty’s car was found nearby. The week’s worth of wages he had just been paid was missing, leading police to initially call the incident a robbery.7)
Fetty was taken to Pike Community Hospital, and then flow to Grant Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He died around 1:00 p.m. the next day.
Baxter, Ferman and Trent were arrested within hours of the police being called. They were arraigned on October 4, and bond was set at $1 million each.8)
On Wednesday, December 8, 2004, prosecutor Rob Junk presented new evidence to a special session of the grand jury, resulting in hate crime charges being added to the aggravated murder charges Baxter and Ferman were facing.9) Junk said that the fact that Fetty had been stripped naked and the severity of the beating led his his office to consider all possible motivations10), though Ohio does not have a hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation.11)
Baxter – who said that he’d been drinking and doing cocaine that night – told a reporter that the attack on Fetty had been carried out by Trent and Ferman, over the missing pack of cigarettes, and not because of Fetty’s sexual orientation.12)
Pleas & Sentencing
On December 6, 2004, Trent was convicted of voluntary manslaughter,13) and negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for testifying against Baxter and Ferman.14) He received a seven year sentence.15)
On December 10, 2004, Baxter and Ferman were charged with capitol murder in addition to being re-indicted on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and tampering with evidence. The new charges meant that both men could receive the death penalty. Both pleaded not guilty. The trials, set to begin on December 13, were delayed until December 27, so that public defenders certified in death penalty cases could be brought on to defend them.16)
On September 23, 2004, Baxter pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and received a life sentence, with eligibility for parole in 20 years.17) When Fetty’s mother, Meeks, spoke to Baxter during his hearing and asked if her son had begged for his life, Baxter laughed.18)
On November 3, 2004, Ferman accepted a plea agreement. He pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and tampering with evidence, and received sentences of 15 years for the murder charge and three years for the tampering charge, making him eligible for in 18 years.Ferman’s plea meant that his trial – scheduled for January 9, 2005 – would not take place, and a detailed account of Fetty’s murder would not be heard in court.19)