IDAHO: Federal Hate Crime Charges For Man Who Admits To Murdering Gay Man After Posing As Escort

The Associated Press reports:

An Idaho man has been charged with a federal hate crime after prosecutors said he lured a gay man to a remote location and then beat him to death. Kelly Schneider, 23, was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month, but the case was kept under seal until he was taken into federal custody, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said in a prepared statement. Schneider is set to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Schneider has already pleaded not guilty in a first-degree murder charge in Idaho state court in connection with the April 2016 death of Steven Nelson, 49. State prosecutors say Schneider posed as an escort on the website Backpage in order to rob those who responded to his ad. Three others have also been charged in state court in connection with the case. Schneider and Nelson are both from Nampa in southwestern Idaho.

More from the Idaho Statesman:

The critically injured man walked, naked and without shoes, for about a half mile to reach a house and get help. He died several hours later at a hospital but was able to provide Canyon County sheriff’s investigators with detailed information that helped identify his attackers.

In court Monday, Schneider said he intended to rob Nelson but not kill him. He also admitted kicking the man repeatedly and acknowledged that his actions caused the man’s death, said Christ Topmiller, Canyon County’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor.

Felony robbery, theft and robbery conspiracy charges against Schneider, 23, were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea on the murder charge. He faces up to life in prison when sentenced March 20 in 3rd District Court. Prosecutors can recommend a fixed sentence as high as 28 years before parole eligibility, and the defense can ask for as little as 10 years.

Woods, 28, of Nampa, is accused of helping Schneider as he beat and robbed Nelson of his car, wallet and other possessions. Tracy, 21, of Nampa, and Henkel, 23, of Wilder, are accused of hiding nearby in case Nelson put up a struggle and Schneider needed more muscle. Tracy is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 6 for first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy charges. Henkel is set for trial March 6 on the same charges. They have both pleaded not guilty.

  • Boycott NC

    Expect Trump and Jeff Sessions to rescind these charges in 3..2..1..

    • bkmn

      And the GOP to remove hate crime status for crimes against LGBTQI people.

      • clay

        They’re on the record for non-support of the Violence against Women Act, where our domestic violence protections sit.

    • TJay229

      Session’s can’t remove charges.

      And the Orange buffoon can only pardon AFTER he’s sentenced…yrs later.

      • Boycott NC

        Of course the Attorney General can drop charges.

        • TJay229

          Number one, Sessions is NOT AG (yet).
          Number two, he does not have the sole power to remove charges, that falls under the Judge (they still have those in courtrooms).
          And lastly, this will not even his his radar to notice, watch, pay attention to or care about.

          • catherinecc

            No need for anything so radical. The prosecutor will merely offer a sweet plea deal (the traditional solution when people murder an untermensch) or undermine the case so it will be reversed on appeal.

            98% of federal cases are plea bargained out. Sure, we have judges, but the de facto reality is that we really only use them for sentencing.

          • TJay229

            Actually, In the Federal system, it’s the Pre sentence Investigators that hold a lot of power. Most judges go with what they say.

  • Ninja0980

    The hate crime charges will be gone by next week and given where he did it at, won’t be surprised to see him get reduced charges or walk.

    • David Walker

      It saddens me to admit it, but I’m kind of surprised that they were even able to issue the hate crimes charges. It’s been less than a week and they’ve already succeeded in making this country so banana republic that even the banana republics won’t talk to us…until we bribe them, of course.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    A trump appointed judge would give him 6 weeks of community service.

    • Millstone

      Your comments are completely off the rails about 75% of the time. Merely an observation. Clearly others disagree.

      • Martin

        Not until 98% will it be considered Presidential.

      • Nic Peterson

        You’re right Millstone. A trump appointee would make sure this little shit stain gets a medal of freedumb.

        • AtticusP

          Attorney General Jefferson Sessions will probably insist on it.

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        Your comments don’t matter. Merely a fact.

    • Blackfork

      Plus five dollars and a suit of clothes.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    I fear more “setups” in our future because- ” trump is president now “.
    Be extra, extra careful people.

    • fuzzybits

      Wonder how many paid attention to the ones in Russia who lured people.

    • Friday

      And boys sometimes wonder why there isn’t a lesbian Grindr.

      • Goodboy

        True but a little screening goes a long way too.

        • Karencboehm

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  • TJay229


    Do we count this as White on White violence? #askingforscaredfriend

    • David Walker

      Yes, but can’t you see it’s different? Neither can I, but you can be sure if it’s ever mentioned, the Kelly girl will be able to issue an alternative fact in no time at all. Our new alternative government will be sooooooooo handy.

      • TJay229

        You’re right

        • David Walker

          And I hate that.

  • Steverino

    President Pence will pardon him

    • pj

      because the gay is sinful dont cha know

  • Dirty Harry

    Cost cutting interrogation method. Tortoise use. Zero cost. Find out who did it ASAP.

    • Goodboy

      Lol. Poor doggie.

    • Jerry

      I didn’t know Sen. McConnell would go that far…

  • Lakeview Bob

    The only satisfaction I get out of this horrible crime is that his perky little ass will be passed around in prison like a bag of Skittles.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      So that’s how the skittles get “tainted”.
      And who can forget this gem?
      Trump Jr. : “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

  • OdieDenCO

    donny’s new LGBT community outreach director

  • fuzzybits

    If you plan on robbing someone and not trying to kill them,you do not kick someone repeatedly.

  • Boreal
    • catherinecc

      I guess we’re pretending that prison guards haven’t traditionally thrown us subhumans into cells with sexual predators so that actual humans don’t get assaulted?

      Don’t advocate for this shit.

      • Boreal

        I’m guessing I don’t need to be fucking lectured after one of our own was brutally beaten to death by this pig.

  • pj

    fucking animals. the victim walked all that way to get help. how unspeakably sad.

  • The Sentinel

    or the Family Research Council’s Presidential Medal of Freedom nominee.

  • SDG

    Even “dating” is scary in the USA these days.

    • Archipelagos

      In all fairness, it’s been scary for quite some time.

      • SDG


  • Friday

    Another bit of Putin’s Russia the Christian Right want to import.

  • MarkBuster

    This might seem like it doesn’t belong.. but this is a reason why the attacks on Rent Boy bothered me.

  • AlexInIdaho

    If he hadn’t used his cellphone (interstate commerce or such), and thus the Feds couldn’t charge him, there would have been no hate crime–we don’t have hate crimes for attacks on LGBT people here. Good ol’ boys havin’ a little fun…

  • Robert Conner

    “Social” media.

  • e jerry powell

    Pled guilty to the murder, but somehow not guilty of the hate crime charge. Ridiculous.

  • KQCA