Reports Clears Army in Gay Soldier's Death

ByABC News
July 19, 2000, 12:26 AM

W A S H I N G T O N, July 19 -- The top officers at the Fort Campbell, Ky., base where a gay soldier was beaten to death by another soldier will not be held accountable for the death, sources said a report will conclude.

The report found troublesome anti-gay attitudes among members of the company where 21-year-old Pfc. Barry Winchell was killed, according to senior defense officials who have seen the report. But it concluded that the 101st Airborne as a whole has no unusual degree of homophobia, the officials said.

The report on D Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division was prepared by the Armys inspector general, Lt. Gen. Michael Ackerman, and is expected for release Friday, sources told ABCNEWS. The officialsagreed to discuss the reports conclusions on condition they not be identified.

Pvt. Calvin Glover was convicted by a military court and sentenced to life in prison for beating Winchell to death with abaseball bat last year. Winchells roommate, Spc. Justin R. Fisher, was sentenced to 12½ years in prison for his role in the killing.

Its Been so Devastating

Patricia Kutteles of Kansas City, Mo., the mother of Pfc. Winchell, said she had not read the report, but accused the Army of a cover-up.

Im just so disappointed, really, really disappointed, Kutteles told The New York Times. Its been so devastating. To me, it seems as if the Pentagon brass and the Fort Campbell command are more concerned about protecting themselves than the safety of our soldiers.

The Army should face up to what is going on instead of covering up for the command climate.

Her Washington lawyer, Charles Butler, said the Army has evidence that Winchells company commander was alerted to anti-gayharassment before the killing but did not act.

Anti-Gay Slurs?

At Glovers trial, soldiers testified that Winchell had been relentlessly taunted with anti-gay slurs in the months leading upto his slaying.