Name Calling May Have Led to Marine Death

One Marine is dead and another is making his first court appearance today after an altercation near a bar in Washington D.C. in the very early morning hours Saturday.  While it’s still unknown whether either men are gay, witnesses report that they heard an anti-gay slur before the murder.

I’m bringing that up now because there are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered in the case.  Before those opposed to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” start ranting that this is why gays should be allowed to openly serve in the military, it appears that the victim was straight with a girlfriend.

If that is true, then this is a case of one ignorant man killing another, Marine or not, and it has nothing to do with being gay.  Calling anyone a homophobic name, gay or straight, is not right!

20-year-old Michael Poth now faces second degree murder while armed charges after police say he allegedly stabbed 23-year-old Philip Bushong to death during an altercation outside a sporting goods store near the marine barracks in southeast.

Military authorities say Bushong, originally from Upstate New York and Connecticut, was due to be discharged in just days.

While police will not say much about the incident, alcohol may have been a contributing factor.

Lieutenant Robert Alder, an MPD homicide detective, says “One witness heard a homophobic slur used by the suspect during a verbal altercation.  We do not have any information there was physical contact before that. It was just an exchange of words, which escalated, and wound up with a stabbing occurring.”

Bushong was stabbed in the chest with a pocketknife and he later died at the hospital.

Police are still determining if the murder will be classified a hate crime.

Eighth street merchants say Bushong is a familiar figure along Barracks Row and one bar manager, describing him as a “light-hearted, good young man.”

It’s sad that this happened and it’s sad that people have to use gay slurs to make themselves feel more masculine!



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