poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, March 25, 2004

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) -- Jurors convicted Martin Hartman of first-degree murder by arson for torching an apartment, killing a homosexual man, but the panel wasn't convinced it was a hate crime as prosecutors alleged.
Clinton Risetter, 37, was killed in the fire on Feb. 24, 2002. Hartman allegedly told police investigators he set the blaze because Risetter was gay. But defense attorneys argued during trial that Hartman, 40, has mental problems and he falsely confessed while in a psychotic state. "What happened is, I went in there and I, I put his bed on fire and he died," Hartman said on videotape shown during trial. When detectives asked why he did that, he replied: "Because he was unhappy and deserved to die." Hartman expressed a hatred for homosexuals numerous times during the 10-hour interrogation. "I don't like gay people," he said on the videotape. Assistant Public Defender Greg Paraskou said Wednesday he was disappointed with the verdict and plans to appeal. Hartman, who faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole, will be sentenced April 7. "I feel a very dangerous man has been taken off the streets," Deputy District Attorney Joyce Dudley said.


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