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Jury rejects homo panic defence

Port Alberni man gets 20 years for gay man's murder

A Port Alberni man was sentenced April 26 to 20 years in prison without parole after a jury earlier rejected a homo panic defence and found him guilty of the 2008 murder of a gay man.

There was no hate designation in the case, Crown prosecutor Gordon Baines tells Xtra. Prior to convicting Kim Winslow Rothgordt, 43, the jury was told Rothgordt met 52-year-old James Shannon through the Plenty of Fish website.

Rothgordt, a 200-pound trained boxer, had billed himself as a “pornstar.” He maintained throughout the case that the meeting was his first homosexual experience.

However, prosecutors presented a series of emails in which both men indicated they wanted to meet for sex. They did so on the night of the killing and had consensual sex, the court heard.

The court heard that Rothgordt struck Shannon on the head with both ends of a claw hammer. Rothgordt later told police he struck the smaller man in self-defence after being sexually assaulted. The accused man’s son testified that his father asked him to burn down the house to destroy the evidence.

Rothgordt’s lawyer had hoped for an acquittal or lesser manslaughter conviction because of diminished capacity owing to intoxication.