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'Sexually confused' former sailor pleads guilty in brutal killing of gay man

Morris Richard McConnell, a former member of the Canadian Navy, has pleaded guilty to the brutal killing of Kelvin Osborne, an openly gay man that he picked up at a downtown Winnipeg bar in March, 2008. It is disappointing to learn that the case was not tried as a hate crime. Prosecutor Scott Cooper said of McConnell: "His own orientation issues may have put him in a position where this event occurred. This was an act that was committed as a result of self-loathing." I believe that Osborne's murder was a hate crime. McConnell's self-loathing and use of the gay panic defense shouldn't excuse him for stabbing and bludgeoning Osborne to death.

Winnipeg Free Press reports:
(Winnipeg, Canada) Morris Richard McConnell, 59, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday for the March 2008 stabbing and beating death of Kelvin Osborne. He was given the mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.

Osborne, 42, was attacked moments after propositioning McConnell for sex and seductively dancing in front of him inside his West Broadway apartment suite, court was told.

"He was trying to turn me into some kind of fa++++," a blood-soaked McConnell told neighbours who saw the aftermath of the slaying.

Despite those comments, Crown and defence lawyers said Tuesday they no longer consider the murder to be motivated by Osborne's sexual orientation. They said McConnell was confused about his own sexual orientation and admits to inviting Osborne back to his place from the lounge at the Sherbrook Inn.

"His own orientation issues may have put him in a position where this event occurred," prosecutor Scott Cooper told Queen's Bench Justice Glenn Joyal. "This was an act that was committed as a result of self-loathing."

McConnell admits to drinking and smoking marijuana before the attack and claims to have little memory of that night. He admitted to striking Osborne numerous times with a hammer in the head and face and slashing his neck with a knife. READ MORE
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