According to police statement, a North Carolina man stands accused of having beaten a veteran he met at a gay bar to death. On Saturday, the veteran succumbed to the injuries he sustained a week ago.
The victim, authorities say, had both arms amputated after suffering severe burns during a fire in his hotel room.
Garry Joseph Gupton, 26, was facing charges of aggravated assault with intent to kill after the attack on the veteran, however, since White died on Saturday, the man is now facing first degree murder charges. Susan Danielsen, police spokeswoman, noted that the sexuality of the victim had not motivated the vicious beating.
“We believe this was a consensual encounter between the two of them, and at some point Mr. Gupton began acting incredibly irrational,”
Danielsen said when describing the attack on Stephen Patrick White.
Alex Teal, White’s longtime partner told reporters that he and the veteran had been dating since 2009. They had been living together but were “on a break” as of this summer.
“So that night was his last night of freedom,”
Teal said, explaining that the two had agreed to attempt a reconciliation starting the following week.
Bartender Jim Olive recalls that White and Gupton left the bar together around closing time and shared a cab.
“I walked them towards the door and I asked Garry, I said, ‘So, are you going to hang with my friend Steve tonight?. And he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Well, I like Steve a lot. Be nice to him.'”
However, around 4:30 AM, Greensboro hotel employees called 911 after hearing a man screaming at the time when the fire alarm was also tripped. Gupton was arrested by police who also evacuated the hotel. White was found unconscious and badly burned by firefighters.
White appeared to have been struck with a telephone, a small piece of furniture and a television, Assistant District Attorney Howard Newman told reporters.
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