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Man who attacked two gay men while shouting homophobic slurs sentenced to just 15 days in prison

Emma Powys Maurice October 23, 2019

Don Kirschoff has been convicted under Oregon's new bias crime laws (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

A man who attacked two gay men while shouting homophobic and racial slurs was sentenced to just 15 days in prison.

And unfortunately he will actually not be imprisoned at all, due to credit from time served.

Don Kirchhoff, 50, was found guilty of attacking two gay friends who were sitting on a bench outside Lovejoy Bakers in Portland, Oregon.

One of his victims was black and one was white. Kirchhoff allegedly used homophobic slurs, and racial slurs against the black man, before pushing the white man into a brick wall, causing lacerations to the head and abrasions on the neck and back.

The two men walked away in an attempt to de-escalate the situation but Kirchhoff followed them and grabbed their shirts. Kirchhoff only relented after one of the men punched him.

Although he originally admitted to starting the confrontation, he later claimed in court that he was “severely intoxicated” and doesn’t remember the attack.

His defence attorney argued that he is a veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and uses alcohol to self-medicate. “That’s not a good solution for him, and he knows that,” she said, asking the court for leniency.

Lovejoy Bakers in Oregon, where the two men were attacked (Google Maps)

On October 18 Kirchhoff changed his plea, pleading guilty to one count of bias crime in the first degree.

As well as the 15 day prison sentence, which will not apply, he was given three years of probation. He will also undergo a mental health evaluation and must stay a minimum of 500 feet away from Lovejoy Bakers and the victims.

Kirchhoff is one of the first people to be convicted under Oregon’s new bias crime laws, which were recently updated to provide justice to more people.

Under the new iteration of the law, only one assailant has to be involved for it to be classified as a bias crime in certain cases.

Kirchhoff has a history of violence and was also accused of strangling his girlfriend in a separate case. On Friday, October 18, Kirchhoff pled guilty to felony strangulation and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years probation.

More: bias crime, Hate crime, homophobic, Oregon

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