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Portland man convicted of homophobic hate crime after murder threats

Patrick Kelleher April 5, 2019
Portland man convicted for homophobic hate crime after murder threats

Scott Wayne Smith

A man from Portland, Oregan, has been convicted of one count of second-degree intimidation—a hate crime—for threatening to kill two gay men at a complex for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Scott Wayne Smith was convicted on Tuesday (2 April) of the crime after pleading no contest, according to a press release from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

Smith announced that he wanted to change his plea just before his trial was due to begin on 2 April. He has been sentenced to 24 months’ probation with 21 days of jail time with credit for time already served.

Scott Wayne Smith must have ‘no contact’ with hate crime victim

He must also have no contact with the victim of the crime and must stay away from Hopewell Apartments, the complex where the incident occurred.

Under the terms of his probation, the Portland man will carry out 40 hours of community service and write an apology letter to the victim and the residents of the apartment complex.

His probation officer may add GPS monitoring, drug and alcohol evaluations and anger management classes at a later point.

“We believe this is an appropriate resolution that holds Mr. Smith accountable for specifically targeting the victim based on his sexual orientation, which is a protected class in Oregon.”

– Multnomah County District Attorney Melissa Marrero

An investigation was launched last year after Portland police were called to Hopewell Apartments on 13 August. In their investigation, police found that two men had been sitting outside the residence when Smith approached them.

He reportedly asked them for a cigarette, and when the men did not respond, he started using homophobic language and “threatened to kill the men.”

The District Attorney also noted in the press release that most of the residents of the apartment complex are gay. Authorities also found that Smith had previously threatened to bomb the building in an effort to kill its residents because of their sexual orientation.

Portland man convicted for homophobic hate crime after murder threats
Pexels

District attorney says the conviction is an ‘appropriate resolution’

Multnomah County District Attorney Melissa Marrero, who prosecuted the case, said everyone deserves the right to feel safe in their community.

“Scott Smith took that right, and the sense of security, away from the victim as well as the other residents living at this particular apartment complex.

“We believe this is an appropriate resolution that holds Mr. Smith accountable for specifically targeting the victim based on his sexual orientation, which is a protected class in Oregon.”

Last August, a resident of Hopewell Apartments, Donnie Blodgett, told local news outlet Katu2 that Smith had a history of threatening behaviour against residents.

Another resident said at the time: “When I walked by the hedge where he lives, he was saying all kinds of hate stuff about [deleted slur], and they should all die. Just really awful stuff.”

More: Anti-gay, Gay, gay men, Hate crime, homophobic, LGBT, Oregon, portland, scott wayne smith, US

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