Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Around The Nation

New Year's Eve Party Stabbing Case Suspect Now Investigated As Potential Victim
Luke O'Donovan via LetLukeGo.com
ATLANTA, GA -- Atlanta Police investigators are expanding their case involving a 19 year old male who identifies himself as queer- who was charged with five felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  Police now say that they are looking to include the possibility of Luke O'Donovan also being a victim in the New Year's Eve incident in suburban Atlanta.
O'Donovan, who is currently being held without bond, was also stabbed several times during the altercation and treated at Atlanta Medical Center before he was transported to Fulton County Jail.
In an Atlanta Police report released three days after the incident, police investigators wrote that witnesses told responding officers that a fight broke out among five or six men on Jan. 1 "over a discussion regarding sexuality" that allegedly led to several men being stabbed.
"All witnesses stated they observed a group of five to six males fighting in the back yard of 239 Gibson St. SE over a discussion regarding sexuality. The fight quickly escalated when the suspect, Mr. Luke O'Donovan pulled out a knife. Witnesses said that the victims were attempting to stop Mr. O'Donovan when they were stabbed," the APD report states.
Amanda Fulton, a spokesperson for an ad hoc group of O'Donovan's friends- Support Luke Defense Committee [letlukego.com]- who are seeking his release from custody told LGBTQNation Tuesday that "O'Donovan was berated with homophobic slurs after being seen dancing with and kissing other males. Later that evening, O'Donovan was viciously attacked by a mob. The large group inflicted several stab wounds on him, but he was able to fight his way out and to escape the crowd. Fulton added that witnesses have come forward and stated that the mob's intent was to kill O'Donovan that night."
A spokesperson for the Atlanta police department, Kim Jones, told The Georgia Voice Monday that a detective is working on whether O'Donovan was a victim in the incident. Jones added that investigators are also continuing to investigate the case with O'Donovan as the defendant.
A witness, who would only identify himself as Richard, told GA Voice that a man came up to O'Donovan at the party and called him a "faggot."
The alleged weapon, a stainless steel switchblade with a 3-inch blade and a wooden handle, was later recovered at an intersection of about a half-mile from the location of the incident. A person passing by found it next to a stop sign and after seeing news reports of the stabbings reported it to police. Police said the knife had blood and flesh on it. 
O'Donovan's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 16. Noah Pines, a local criminal lawyer who is representing O'Donovan noted that he would seek bond for his client.
"Wednesday is the preliminary hearing and hopefully we will have a chance to seek bond at that time," said Pines. O'Donovan was initially denied bond.
O'Donovan has not spoken to officers with the Atlanta Police Department about his case, Pines added.
"It is my understanding a separate detective has been assigned to investigate this case with Luke being the victim, which he was in this case," Pines said. “He had at least five people attacking him."