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Article 32 Hearing: Specialist (SPC) Justin R. Fisher

Ft. Campbell officials have unofficially set Monday, August 30, 1999, as the date for an Article 32 hearing for Specialist (SPC) Justin R. Fisher charged in connection with the murder of Private First Class (PFC) Barry Winchell at Ft. Campbell, KY. Winchell was allegedly bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat in his barracks during the early morning hours of July 5, 1999. SPC Fisher, PFC Winchell's roommate, has been charged with allegedly participating as a principal to the premeditated murder; acting as an accessory after the fact; making false statements under oath; and obstructing the investigation.

The Article 32 hearing will be open to the public. An Article 32 hearing is the military's equivalent of a grand jury hearing where the government presents preliminary evidence supporting the charges and an Inquiry Officer determines if the case proceeds to a court-martial.

To obtain exact dates, times and locations of the Article 32 hearings, please contact Major Pamela Hart in the Public Affairs Office at Ft. Campbell. Phone: (270) 798-3025.

An Article 32 hearing was held on August 9th and 10th for Private (PVT) Calvin Glover who has been charged with allegedly committing premeditated murder of PFC Winchell. Concerns have been raised that anti-gay animus may have motivated the crime.

Witness testimony presented at PVT Glover's Article 32 hearing, if true, suggests that anti-gay bias was one factor in PFC Winchell's murder. The testimony revealed, among other things, that PFC Winchell was harassed on a daily basis for more than four months because of his perceived sexual orientation and that superiors did not take steps to stop the harassment. During closing arguments, the prosecution stated that PVT Glover allegedly said, "I'm not going to let a faggot kick my ass," shortly before PFC Winchell was murdered.

C. Dixon Osburn, Co-Executive Director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), stated: "There are a lot of facts surrounding the murder of PFC Barry Winchell that are not known. We hope that the upcoming Article 32 hearing will shed more light on those facts and allay our concerns that the Army has not done a fair or thorough investigation in this case." Osburn and SLDN Staff Attorney, Kathi Westcott, will attend the upcoming Article 32 hearing.

SLDN is an independent national legal aid and watchdog organization that assists men and women in the military who face witch hunts, hate crimes, harassment and discharge under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue." In five years, SLDN has directly assisted more than 1,800 military members

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