Murderer Steven Eric Mullins, who was convicted over a famous anti-gay killing, has been stabbed to death in prison.
The Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed that Mullins died following an incident at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, Alabama, on February 26. He died two days later, on February 28, in hospital.
Mullins was serving life in prison for the brutal 1999 murder of gay man Billy Jack Gaither.
Murderer Steven Eric Mullins stabbed to death
According to the Birmingham News, the department is filing murder charges against another inmate, Christopher Scott Jones, who is serving time for murdering five people in 2008.
The killing of Mullins came just days after the 20th anniversary of the murder of Gaither, which took place on February 19, 1999.
Steven Mullins wanted to ‘get rid’ of gay victim
Mullins, 45, was expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars over the murder of Gaither, who had his throat slashed, was bludgeoned with an axe handle and was set on fire.
In a confession to police, Mullins said he he knew the victim as a regular at a local nightclub and resolved to “get rid of him (…) cause he was queer.”
According to PBS, he told officers: “I had to ’cause he was a faggot.”
Mullins’ co-defendant Charles Monroe Butler would later employ the gay panic defence, claiming that he had killed Gaither because he had propositioned him.
Both men were found guilty, however, and Butler is still behind bars.
Homosexuality was only legalised in Alabama in 2003, after a ruling from the US Supreme Court struck down remaining state sodomy laws.
Gaither’s murders led to calls for changes to state law to recognise homophobic hate crimes.
However, multiple bills on the issue were defeated.
Alabama state law still does not legally recognise hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity, though federal law does.