Before we even get into the story just take a look at those mugshots. Take every hick, redneck and trailer trash stereotype you can think of, roll them up in a ball and make it watch ‘Deliverance’ Clockwork Orange style while playing the ‘Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel’ theme song and smoking meth and you’ll produce these four. Don’t let their slack-jawedness fool you though. This quartet is nothing less than barbaric.
49-year-old Steven Nelson of Nampa, Idaho, seemed to be a man who had everything going for him. He was a well liked student at the University of Idaho where he graduated in 2011. He was remembered up to the time of his death by former classmates and faculty of the school. Unfortunately even the most well liked and well read people have their vices. Mr. Nelson is said to have responded to a personal ad on Backpage looking for sex. Instead of meeting up with a willing participant he met up with 22-year-old Kelly Schneider and his cohorts Jayson Woods, 28, Kevin Tracy, 21, and Daniel Henkel, 23. The foursome allegedly beat Nelson within a literal inch of his life including being kicked with steel toe boots because, of course he was. The suspects also stole Nelson’s belongings, and made him get money out of an ATM. He was able to make it to a Boise hospital and gave police a description of his attackers before succumbing to his injuries.
The four are being held without bail and are could all possibly face the death penalty. Idaho has no hate crime legislation when it comes to people being targeted for their sexual orientation.
Again, this is probably going to sound like victim blaming, but while ultimately the four violent hayseeds are responsible for Nelson’s death, no one should ever go looking for anonymous hookup sex on either craigslist or Backpage. I don’t care if you’re straight, gay, trans or whatever. When you take a risk like this the odds are too great that you’ll run into a situation like this that could see you get hurt or worse. Lead the life you want to lead but use your brain and stay safe.
Thanks to Sweet D for the tip.
UPDATE 1/28/2017: Schneider is expected to plead guilty in exchange for a 28 year sentence. The remaining three are still awaiting trial.
UPDATE 4/13/2017: Kelly Schneider has been sentenced to 28 to life.