Man who beat gay man to death served another life sentence
A man who was sentenced to life in prison earlier in April for beating a gay man to death has been served another life sentence in federal court.
Kelly Schneider had been set for a March trial after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in state court earlier this year.
Idaho’s hate crime law does not protect on the basis of sexual orientation. He pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dropping robbery, theft and conspiracy charges.
But on Thursday, the US Attorney’s Office said that he had been served another 28 year sentence.
“Kelly Schneider assaulted and killed a man because of the man’s sexual orientation,” said General Wheeler, acting assistant attorney.
“This is a federal crime, and the Department of Justice will continue to work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to enforce our federal hate crimes laws.”
The sentence will be served concurrently, and five years probation will be served as well as a $5,000 fine being paid.
According to prosecutors, Nelson was found by Schneider on the backdoor.com personals site.
After the 49-year-old was beaten, robbed and stripped, he was left naked in freezing temperatures.
Nelson walked naked and barefoot in critical condition to a home half a mile away to find help.
He gave information to police before dying hours later.
The Idaho Statesman reports that today, Schneider stood with his head bowed as members of Nelson’s family spoke of their loss.
“You want to talk about impact on our lives?” Edgar Nelson, Steven’s brother said at the 3rd District to Judge Thomas J. Ryan.
“I don’t know where to start. After 49 years, his prints are in our lives and in our hearts everywhere.”
The victim’s brother also said he has dreams where he sees his brother being kicked to death.
“Steven wasn’t our gay brother. He was just our brother,” said sister Connie Nelson-Cleverley.
Schneider, thought his lawyer, said he wanted to apologise to the family.
“I understand that no matter what I do, I can never make right what I did wrong. … I’m not asking anybody for forgiveness, because I don’t deserve it,” he said.
Three other men in the state, Jayson Woods, 28, Kevin R Tracy, 21 and Daniel Henkel, 23 are also awaiting trial for first-degree murder.
Local prosecutors last year expressed fears that Schneider had lured other victims in the past.