Thursday, October 04, 2007


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The New York Times

Defendant in Hate Case Is Examined by Prosecutor

October 3, 2007

Matadors call it citar, the act of provoking an adversary to attack. Theequivalent moment in cross-examination arrived yesterday when a prosecutorasked Anthony Fortunato if he had been involved in sending online messagesto lure a gay man to a robbery, setting into motion the events that led tohis death.

"I was involved; I was the one that got on the computer," Mr. Fortunatosaid.

The prosecutor demanded, "Yes or no, please."

After a pause, Mr. Fortunato said, "Yes, and no."

Their quietly seething exchange in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn was theculmination of two weeks of trial on charges not just of murder, but ofmurder as a hate crime, a distinction that could draw an extended sentence.

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Poll Shows Giuliani Atop An Unsettled GOP Race
Ex-Mayor Gets High Marks on Leadership

By Dan Balz and Jennifer Agiesta
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 3, 2007; A06

Rudolph W. Giuliani leads the race for the GOP presidential nomination, with Republican voters describing him as the field's strongest leader and mostelectable candidate in the 2008 general election, according to a WashingtonPost-ABC News poll.

But the Republican contest remains unsettled just three months before thefirst votes will be cast, and in comparison with fellow New York politicianHillary Rodham Clinton, Giuliani is a far less solid front-runner. He hasdouble the support of his nearest rival, but a majority of those who supporthim do so only "somewhat." At the same time, his advantages on keyattributes are smaller today than they were earlier in the campaign,reflecting continued uncertainty among Republicans about their choices inthe presidential race.

The poll also marked an interruption in what had been a slow but steady risein support for Fred D. Thompson. The former senator from Tennessee nearlydoubled his support from April to early September as he prepared to enterthe race, but he has not picked up additional backing since.

Giuliani topped the Republican field with 34 percent, with Thompson at 17percent and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) at 12 percent in the new poll. FormerMassachusetts governor Mitt Romney was in fourth with 11 percent but hascontinued to make strong showings in polls testing the crucial earlycontests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee took 8 percent, his best showing in aPost-ABC poll. Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) had 3 percent; Rep. Duncan Hunter(Calif.), 2 percent; and Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.) and Rep. Tom Tancredo(Colo.), 1 percent.

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Two Men Found Dead in Same Apartment Within Days

By Allison Klein and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 3, 2007; B04

A 45-year-old New York man described in a news account as a "gay legend" inthat region was found dead last month in a Washington apartment whereanother man had been found dead four days earlier, according to police.

No cause of death could be learned in either case. Police said they arewaiting for toxicology and other tests.

The New York man was identified as Dean Johnson of Brooklyn. Police said hisbody was found Sept. 20 in an apartment at the Envoy Towers at 2400 16th St.NW. Police said the second man, Jordan Cronkin, 26, who had no fixedaddress, was found in the same apartment Sept. 16.

Police said they did not know whether the deaths were related but indicatedthat they found the circumstances unusual.

"It would make anyone's eyebrow go up," said Inspector Rodney Parks, whoheads the police department's violent crimes branch.

A friend said Johnson was a celebrity in the New York gay nightlife sceneand

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GOP Senator in N.Va., Foe Seeking Gay Vote
Move Highlights Shifting Politics

By Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 3, 2007; B01

If ever there were a sign that Northern Virginia's political landscape isshifting, it was the recent scene in a nondescript office park in FairfaxCity, where two candidates for the state Senate battled passionately to winwhat each views as a crucial source of support this election season: thegay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender vote.

Republican incumbent Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and Democratic challengerJ. Chapman Petersen practically fell over each other to win votes at adebate Thursday sponsored by Equality Fairfax, a nonpartisan group thatseeks to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and genderidentity.

"Everybody is equal," Davis, 51, told the small gathering in the sanctuaryof the Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia. "Everybody shouldbe treated with respect."

When asked about a state constitutional ban on gay marriage approved byreferendum last year, Petersen, 39, said, "The amendment was gratuitous."

The debate provided more evidence of the political shake-up occurring inNorthern Virginia. In the 34th Senate District, whose boundaries were drawnby Republicans six years ago, Davis is fighting for her political lifeagainst what all agree is an overwhelming Democratic advantage. As a result,her race with Petersen at times looks more like a nomination fight betweenprogressive Democrats than a Virginia general election.

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