Hate Crime Perpetrator Gets 55 Life Terms

(StraightNews.org) – Anderson Aldrich, convicted of killing five people at a gay nightclub in Colorado, has been handed 55 life sentences. Aldrich entered Club Q in Colorado Springs in November 2022 with a semiautomatic rifle and opened fire, killing five and injuring 19. He was subsequently charged with federal hate crimes and pleaded guilty, earning him a jail term of more than 2,200 years. In court, he refused to apologize to the injured victims or family members of those he murdered.

Police identified the dead as 40-year-old Kelly Loving, 28-year-old Daniel Aston, 38-year-old Derrick Rump, 34-year-old Ashley Paugh, and 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance. Openly gay District Judge Charlotte Sweeney imposed the sentence.

Survivors expressed disappointment that Aldrich did not receive the death penalty, but Judge Sweeney assured them that he would spend his life in prison and face “a miserable future, with a miserable end.”

The Justice Department submitted a statement to the court for the sentencing hearing stating that Adrich had carried out a “brazen and calculated” attack motivated by prejudice.

The killings occurred during the “Transgender Day of Remembrance” in 2022, and documents explain that the shooter planned the assault, visiting the club several times to note its layout. He had previously documented his contempt for LGBT individuals and spoken of mass shooters with admiration. Court files further reveal that he spent $9,000 on weapons before the attack.

Mr. Aldrich’s attorneys disputed the hate element of his crimes and said that he, too, identifies as a member of the LGBT community. They told the court that their client considers himself “non-binary” and uses they/them pronouns. The attorneys furthermore insisted that Adrich was under the influence of prescription painkillers and cocaine during the deadly assault.

Prosecutor Alison Connaughty stated, however, that Aldrich admitted the hate crime element, and such an admission is essential to the “community of Club Q,” which she described as “more than a bar” but a prior place of safety for many LGBT individuals.

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