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The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the 25-year sentence of a man convicted of the homosexual rape and murder of a
The state’s highest court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling which said a pair of statements made to police in
September 1999 by Joshua Macabe Brown shortly after his arrest should not be thrown out.
Earlier, Benton County Circuit Judge David S. Clingler ruled although he had ”serious doubts” about tactics used by two officers in questioning Brown after his arrest, he said there was ”no way” he found anything Brown said was in response to any sort of promises made by police, the Fort Smith, Ark. Times-Record newspaper reported.
Brown could have received life in prison or the death penalty for his role in the killing, which gained national prominence in a column by
WorldNetDaily founder and editor-in-chief Joseph Farah.
Dirkhising was found by police unconscious on the floor of a Prairie Grove, Ark. residence around 5 a.m. Sept. 26, 1999, his hands bound with duct tape and his mouth gagged.
Police later determined Dirkhising had been repeatedly raped over a period of hours, including with foreign objects, by
Brown, then 22, and Davis Don Carpenter, then 38.
Police also said Dirkhising had been blindfolded and tied to a mattress in the residence, and also had possibly been drugged during the ordeal. And authorities said after the last rape he was left bound and gagged while his attackers ate a sandwich. He died of suffocation, a coroner’s report found.
Carpenter, whom police say orchestrated the attack, pleaded guilty and received a sentence of life in prison.
In his high court appeal, Brown argued police promised him he could ”help himself” by telling them what they wanted to know, the Times-Record reported. But justices agreed the
comments were vague and non-specific, that Brown was of legal age when arrested and was properly advised of his rights by police.
”We cannot say that Brown was so vulnerable that his statements were involuntary, and it is apparent that the trial court did not err in denying Brown’s motion to suppress these statements,” said Justice Tom Glaze, in the court’s unanimous ruling.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty in the case.
After his arrest, Carpenter had made statements to police about homosexual fantasies involving young boys, said
authorities – statements the court later allowed, despite Carptenter’s insistence he made them before he was formally
arrested for the crime.
News of the Dirkhising case was surprisingly muted throughout the country, perhaps because it involved a
homosexual crime, said WND readers, who voted it one of the most spiked stories of 1999.
At one point, Farah took the Washington Post to task over it, and most major newspaper’s, lack of coverage of the case. In response the Post’s ombudsman, E.R. Shipp, blasted Farah and WND in a column she penned defending her paper’s decision to
focus more attention on the death of Matthew Shepard, a homosexual student who was murdered in Wyoming in Oct.