Hearing for two Marines in alleged Savannah gay bashing postponed

The two Marines charged in beating a gay man in June after he allegedly winked at one of them have had another hearing in their case postponed.

Christopher Stanzel, 23, and Keil Cronauer, 22, of Beaufort are charged with misdemeanor battery in the attack on Kieran Daly on June 12 in Savannah. A hearing in the two Marine’s case was postponed Thursday by Judge Claire Cornwell-Williams, reports the Island Packet.

The judge postponed the hearing in order to give Assistant District Attorney Laura Singleton and defense attorneys time to review video surveillance of the alleged gay bashing.

This is the second time a hearing for the two Marines has been postponed.

According to a Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department report, Daly was allegedly attacked at about 3:45 a.m. on June 12.

Daly’s friend, Alison Brennan, told police “they were all eating pizza [in Johnson Square] and were joking around with the two subjects when Mr. Cronauer got upset because he found out Mr. Daly was a homosexual. She continued to state that she was trying to get Mr. Daly to walk away because she heard Mr. Cronauer tell him ‘did you just wink at me!’

“At which point she stated Mr. Stanzel walked behind Mr. Daly and when she turned her attention to them Mr. Daly was on the ground unconscious. She immediately ran to him and in passing asked Mr. Stanzel, ‘did you just hit him?’ Mr. Stanzel’s response was ‘No’ and took off running with Mr. Cronauer heading west on Congress St.

“She then went to the aid of Mr. Daly and she stated he did not have a pulse at first. She then gave him some ‘chest rubs’ and all Mr. Daly did was lift his eyebrows but did not wake up.”

Police found the two suspects in a fenced, empty lot after they were seen running “full sprint” from where Daly was injured. They told police they were waiting for friends.

“Mr. Cronauer stated that they were being harassed by a white homosexual male earlier in the evening and just wanted to get away and meet their friend on Bay St. Mr. Stanzel stated that he was going to meet a friend on River St.,” according to the police report.

They were turned over to military police.

Further reports that Daly suffered a seizure and required CPR caused an uproar among LGBT people in Georgia and nationwide, who demanded police charge the Marines with a felony.

The incident also prompted Georgia Equality to ask the Department of Justice and the FBI to intervene to investigate whether or not the incident is a federal hate crime.

“I’m very concerned this happened in the first place. But these misdemeanor charges are outrageous,” said Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham. “And then to turn [the Marines] over to the military police is a miscarriage of justice.”

Savannah LGBT activists held a rally on June 20 to call attention to the attack and to call for state leaders to pass a comprehensive state hate crimes law.