Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Around The Nation

Gay Eagle Scout Charged In Murder In Alabama Trailer Park
Zachary Stirewalt Booking Photo
MONTGOMERY, AL -- Zachary Stirewalt, a twenty one year old openly gay Eagle Scout has been charged with murder of Daniel Turman, 43, with whom he was staying at the time. According to Lt. L.R. Sanderson a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the scene of the shooting around 6:30 a.m., Saturday, to find Turman dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Stirewalt was taken into custody as a person of interest and later charged with murder.
The shooting occurred at Sunshine Village, a sprawling trailer park of about 300 homes in central Alabama. Police officials are not releasing information regarding a possible motive. 
Police indicated that the victim, who lived alone, had apparently offered Stirewalt a place to stay after learning that the college student had recently left home and had no place to live.
According to Lt. L.R. Sanderson, Stirewalt is being held at the Montgomery County jail, where he has been placed under suicide watch with his bail set at $75,000.
Raleigh News & Observer writer Thomas McDonald reports that the background of Stirewalt is completely at odds with such an act of violence.
He grew up in Cary,North Carolina- the seventh largest city in the state- and while attending high school there played in the school's band as a trumpet player. He was a member of the National Honor Society and served as an officer with a youth group at White Plains United Methodist Church in Cary,North Carolina, where he also sang in the choir. In 2009, Stirewalt earned his Eagle Scout rank from the Boy Scouts of America.
Stirewalt was majoring in technical photography at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. According to Karen Suddreth, a spokeswoman with ASU's registrar’s office, he was last enrolled last summer and was on schedule to graduate this coming May.
Zachary Stirewalt, Eagle Scout, Courtesy of Robin Stirewalt
Natalie Hayes, 33, is the manager of Go Studios in New York City, where Stirewalt worked from June through late August. She hired him on the spot when she interviewed him for an internship, and allowed him to live with her for more than two weeks until he found a place to stay.
His duties there included helping clients who rented space to set up equipment and assisting veteran photographers. He was interested in fashion and architectural photography, Hayes said.
“He was very helpful, very responsible,” she said Thursday. “He was such a people-sweet person. He was really excited about going back to school. He said he had only a semester or two left and he was going to be certified to teach Pilates.” 
“He used to do yoga in the park at Tompkins Square,” Hayes said. “Some people might think that was strange.” 
Hayes said she never saw Stirewalt get angry, lose his temper or even say anything rude.
“I can only imagine that he did it in self-defense and that was his only option,” she said. ~ Raleigh News & Observer