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Death of Iowa teen not a hate crime, say police
News update posted Aug. 23, 2011
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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A 19-year-old Iowan has died from injuries from an altercation during which attackers allegedly yelled anti-gay slurs at him.

However, police say the incident likely will not be investigated as a hate crime.

Marcellus Andrews, of Waterloo, died Aug. 21 after being removed from life support. Andrews was allegedly beaten by a group of people who yelled anti-gay slurs at him in the early hours of Aug. 19.

Lieutenant Michael McNamee of the investigative police division in Waterloo, confirmed that the fight started an exchange of words, but said that any slurs hurled were the result of a day-long dispute between two groups of people, not the start of anti-gay violence.

"There were some things that happened there earlier in the day between parties involved in the altercation," McNamee said. "At this point, I don't anticipate it being prosecuted as a hate crime."

According to McNamee, approximately 10 people were involved in the altercation at 220 Cottage Street.

Police have interviewed several suspects but have yet to make arrests.

"We do have people of interest we're looking at," McNamee said.

A Facebook page in Andrews' honor had exceeded 1,700 subscribers by Tuesday. Friends expressed their hopes that Andrews would find peace and justice. Others expressed outrage over the alleged anti-gay murder.

"I will never forget the laughs and encouraging words you gave me," wrote on friend. "Everything I do will be in your memory…Love you so much and I'm blessed to have experienced your friendship."

Windy City Times will update as more details become available.

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