Ryan Keith Skipper trial to begin

Ryan Keith Skipper trial to begin

There are 44 comments on the www.watermarkonline.com story from Feb 7, 2009, titled Ryan Keith Skipper trial to begin. In it, www.watermarkonline.com reports that:

In March 2007, 25-year-old Ryan Keith Skipper was stabbed and left to die on the side of a dirt road. Joseph Bearden and William Brown are accused of the murder, and many suspect they committed the shocking crime because Skipper was gay. Bearden's murder trial begins Monday, Feb. 9, at the Bartow Court House in Polk County. Brown will be tried at a later date. Skipper's mother, Pat Mulder, and his step-father, Lynn Mulder, plan to be at the trial every day. The trial is open to the public, but the Lakeland couple asks that there be no demonstrations outside the court house. "I think it's going to be a very difficult and emotional rollercoaster for a lot of people," Lynn Mulder said. "Not only [is it emotional] for our family and the extended friends and family of Ryan, but the families of Ryan's murderers. They've effectively lost loved ones too." Pat Mulder, says she's apprehensive about seeing the men accused of his murder. "I dread seeing them and that bothers me," she said. "I wouldn't even consider not being there to represent Ryan, though." While the murder has been investigated as a hate crime, the stepped-up classification will have no bearing on sentencing according to the State Attorney's Office. In Florida, the hate crime designation is not applicable to capital felonies like murder because punishments—ranging from life in prison or execution—are the most severe and therefore cannot be enhanced.

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“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#1 Feb 7, 2009
When looking up the story of Skipper's life on Google, there are several pieces about his life in Wikipedia and in the Tampa Bay and Orlando area, many people are comparing his death to that of Matthew Sheperd.

He knew the two men he went with. They approached him. Everything seemed on the level. He was killed on a deserted stretch of road, where hardly no was able to see him.

This is almost like the Laramie Project, Central Florida style.
Shawn

Tampa, FL

#2 Feb 7, 2009
I say hang the two murderers and cut their balls off. They murdered once they will murder again. Ryan's life has been taken from him and his family.

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#3 Feb 7, 2009
Shawn wrote:
I say hang the two murderers and cut their balls off. They murdered once they will murder again. Ryan's life has been taken from him and his family.
The death penalty is the most severe punishment one can receive. I am sure that the jury will not be thrilled with this and all the prosecuting attorney has to do is to illustrate the viciousness of the crime and show lots of pictures. When the Sheperd trial occurred in Wyoming, many of the jurors could not bare to look at the photos because the brutality of the crime and Matthew hanging from a fence was just too much to look at.

I do not care if the hate crime stuff is hung on this, but I think both of the men in this scenario should receive the death penalty. Was there pre-meditation to the crime? Yes. Was the brutality of the crime vicious enough to gain the death penalty? Yes.

When the prosecuting attorney shows pictures of the young man prior to being killed and the after shots of him having one of his eyes gouged out, being stabbed 20 times, and his throat slit, I think that the jury would take no time at all.

I will happily push the button if asked.
Shawn

Tampa, FL

#4 Feb 7, 2009
Yes, they seem truly evil! There's one thing hurting someone and it's another thing to brutally murder them.

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#5 Feb 7, 2009
Shawn wrote:
Yes, they seem truly evil! There's one thing hurting someone and it's another thing to brutally murder them.
The judge may need to make a decision on making this trial public. Monday is not too far away and I have a feeling, that Bartow courthouse is going to be packed at capacity. You will think that people are going to a concert at the St. Pete Times Forum, but no, they are going to want to see these guys hang for what they did.

“Marriage=Love+Co mmitment.....”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#6 Feb 7, 2009
If you want to show support for Ryan's family and friends, get the video about Ryan and show it to your friends, church, whoever!
http://www.ryanskipperdocumentary.com/

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#7 Feb 7, 2009
Good thing he wasn't killed in South Carolina, his murderers would get off with about a year in jail.......

Fry 'em.

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#8 Feb 7, 2009
WeTheSheeple wrote:
Good thing he wasn't killed in South Carolina, his murderers would get off with about a year in jail.......
Fry 'em.
Oh, don't worry, we will. Even though Polk County is conservative, it sandwiched between Orlando and Tampa and people there do not put up with that crap.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#9 Feb 7, 2009
I have only 2 qualms about the death penalty.
1. Aboslute, positive proof.
2. Endless legal ploys for years.

If there is undeinable proof, I think the death penalty is fine. Appeals should be limited in number, and a time limit placed on when those appeals should be forthcoming. We have seen far to many convicts who have later been released due to DNA or some other proof-positive evidence come out. If they can get it right the first time, I have no problem with the death penalty. In this case or any other.
Bill

Tampa, FL

#10 Feb 7, 2009
I couldn't agree with you more. The biggest problem is trying to find out if someone is truly guilty. In many cases one can just be perceived as guilty by a jury and found guilty while innocent. Although, I don't think that is the case here. Things like DNA are very accurate, but also very easily planted and misconstrued.
RalphB wrote:
I have only 2 qualms about the death penalty.
1. Aboslute, positive proof.
2. Endless legal ploys for years.
If there is undeinable proof, I think the death penalty is fine. Appeals should be limited in number, and a time limit placed on when those appeals should be forthcoming. We have seen far to many convicts who have later been released due to DNA or some other proof-positive evidence come out. If they can get it right the first time, I have no problem with the death penalty. In this case or any other.
The Third Chimp

Saint Petersburg, FL

#11 Feb 7, 2009
two bullets - one for each of their heads... then send a bill to each of their families for the bullets.

“Vote No On Amendment 2”

Since: Jun 08

Tampa, Florida

#12 Feb 7, 2009
My Thought and Prayers are with Pat and Lynn Mulder, may God give them the strength to endure the two separate trails of the animals who took their beloved son Ryan Keith Skipper's life. I hope the jury will hold Joseph Eli Bearden and William David Brown, Jr., accountable for their horrific brutal murder of Ryan. If the evidence warrants either the death penalty or life in prison, it never bring Ryan back to life. But, if found guilty, if there's any justice they should never see the light of day from outside the walls of prison.

“Vote No On Amendment 2”

Since: Jun 08

Tampa, Florida

#13 Feb 7, 2009
Pride Tampa Bay will be following the first trial of Joseph Eli Bearden scheduled to begin this Monday, February 9th. with jury selection. The second trial of William David Brown, Jr, will follow Bearden's trial when it's over in February as well. PTB will be posting comprehensive news coverage with daily updates on PTB's Hate Crime News and Tributes to Hate Crime Victims section: http://pridetb.homestead.com/hate.html . Presently posted are an archives of news articles and photos dating back to 2007. Along with videos about Ryan, and his parents Pat and Lynn Mulder. This section also has Videos Tributes, Photos and News Articles of other Hate Crime Victims. If you find news articles not posted on our website, our contact info is posted on this page. Please sent URL link to the articles and we'll post them. Should you know of a victim we have not included, forward their information, we'll research them and be honored to include them as well.

R. Zeke Fread PTB Director

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#14 Feb 8, 2009
The Third Chimp wrote:
two bullets - one for each of their heads... then send a bill to each of their families for the bullets.
Pushing the button for lethal injection seems easier. I do not like the smoke discharge of a gun..... LOL
Polk County lesbian

United States

#15 Feb 11, 2009
Bartow is not Orlando or Tampa. The court will not have difficulty finding a jury of Joseph Bearden's peers. So do not get your hopes up, brothers and sisters, that the jury will be moved by any number of photos of Ryan's battered and bloody body. The defense team will do their best to discredit the state's witnesses and to continue the character assassination of Ryan Skipper in the same tone as that used by our local militia, Sheriff Grady Judd. Grady's deputies are well known for harassing and terrorizing the LGBT community of Polk County, yet he was soundly re-elected.

Please pray for Ryan's family and friends - they are about to go through hell yet again. I cannot even imagine the agony of reliving Ryan's death by having to look at the monsters who set him up to be robbed and killed. And to be forced to sit and listen to the things that the defense attorneys will suggest about Ryan - such is our justice system.

What a lovely person Pat Mulder is to be concerned about the families of these men. From what I know of Ryan, he too would not want anyone else's family to know such pain.
Lou

Saint Petersburg, FL

#16 Feb 13, 2009
I was one of the potential Jurors for Joseph Bearden and have now been excused due to hardship such a long case would cause me and my family. I had to sit in the same room with him and his attorney along with the judge. I can say one thing, looking into his eyes is very spooky. All I could see is evil in his blank stare.

This will be a very emotional trial to sit through. Since I will not be on the Jury, I have done some research and I'm convinced, if there is any justice in this world, these 2 evil bastards will be found guilty and receive the death penalty.
interested party

United States

#17 Feb 13, 2009
I hope you are right, Lou. Everyone should be aware that Court TV (now TrueTV), which is Channel 55 on local cable, will be televising the trial from 9 to 3 each day, once the jury is seated. Opening statements will probably be Monday afernoon, but if it's later than 3, it won't make the broadcast.

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#18 Feb 14, 2009
Lou wrote:
I was one of the potential Jurors for Joseph Bearden and have now been excused due to hardship such a long case would cause me and my family. I had to sit in the same room with him and his attorney along with the judge. I can say one thing, looking into his eyes is very spooky. All I could see is evil in his blank stare.
This will be a very emotional trial to sit through. Since I will not be on the Jury, I have done some research and I'm convinced, if there is any justice in this world, these 2 evil bastards will be found guilty and receive the death penalty.
Lou, I would have chomp at the bit to be in your position, but it is very understandable that it could have caused emotional or financial hardships to your employer. Some employers do not offer jury duty leave and the scant $20 a day or less they pay jurors will not cover everything.

I am merely surprised that they could find impartial members to be on a jury in Polk County. I am surprised also that the defense did not request a change of venue to Tampa or Orlando.
Polk County lesbian

United States

#19 Feb 14, 2009
The defense is not looking for an impartial jury - they are looking for a jury of his peers, and they have to know that the best chance at a reduced charge is in Polk County. In Tampa or Orlando, there would be too many people who might actually know a gay person. In Polk County, the jury pool is about the same size as the gene pool. So it is heartening to know that there was one Lou in the mix.

I will not be at all surprised if they try to pin the killing on the other guy and get Bearden off as an accessory after the fact. Even with evidence tampering charges and possession of the stolen vehicle, he could still walk free in 35 years or less. Why do you think they are trying him first?

I'm praying for Ryan's family and for his friends who have to take the witness stand.
Lou

Saint Petersburg, FL

#20 Feb 14, 2009
Unfortunatly, I am self employed and if I don't work I don't get paid. Actually, I do regret I was unable to be on this Jury. I really do wish things were different and I could have been on it but I doubt very much his attorneys would have ended up accepting me anyway because I had a family member who was a victim in a violent attack back in 1985.

There was a very large mixture of people in the Jury pool. I certainly did not get the impression that Ryan being gay has any bearing on this case. He was a person who had his life taken from him in a violent manor. I have many gay friends and from what I understood so do many other people in the Jury pool. As far as I'm concerned, being gay is a non issue. Being gay is not a crime, killing is and if there is a God, justice will prevail.

I don't believe there is any doubt of Bearden's guilt. I think his best chance will be life. However, the Jury doesn't have the final decision.They can only recommend the death penalty if he is found guilty but the final decision will be on the Judge.

The jurors pay is $15.00 per day for the first 3 days and then $30.00 per day after that. It isn't really a money issue. People don't expect to make money doing this but the courts really don't want people on the jury if they are worried about their personal finance. They want Jurors who can devote all of their concentration and time on the trial.

Personally, I would have been an emotional wreck. I didn't have much knowledge of this case until I was called for jury duty. But I did do my own research and thats how I found this forum. Everytime I think about that nice young man (Ryan) the tears come out. This is a cruel world we live in but we can only hope for justice.

I don't know if anyone here has heard but Bearden is now sporting new tatoos on his neck and a large tear drop on his face over his left eye. This has also caused the delay in jury selection because most people know that a tear drop tatoo means that person has killed someone.

He looks like a low life gang member, even with his fancy suit they dressed him up in. His cold heartless stare shows what kind of an animal he is.

We can only prey for justice now. I will certainly be following this trial and will even TVO it when I'm not abe to watch it live.

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