Two Cape Girardeau men accused of hate crime

Friday, November 7, 2008 | 2:06 p.m. CST

CAPE GIRARDEAU — Two southeast Missouri men were charged Thursday with third-degree assault-hate crime and are accused of attacking a man because of his sexual orientation in August.

Both suspects, 30-year-old Shaun Cole and 22-year-old Eric Frymire, are from Cape Girardeau.

A probable cause statement says Frymire and Cole witnessed seven people at a parking lot and followed the group to an apartment, threatened them and made derogatory sexual remarks. The group went inside and shut the door to avoid any further altercation.

The statement says that when one man stepped out of the apartment, Cole called him a name and hit him in the head with his fist. Frymire then allegedly jumped in. The men are accused of then pinning the man to a bed and repeatedly hitting him until police were called.

Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle said witnesses described hearing Frymire and Cole use derogatory language directed at the victim and his friends.

Frymire's attorney, Gordon Glaus, said, "I believe my client's innocent, and it will be proven in court." There was no attorney listed for Cole. Neither man had a listed phone number.

Third-degree assault is normally a misdemeanor, but the hate crime charge elevates it to a Class D felony that carries a potential penalty of up to four years in prison.

State statutes define a hate crime as any crime motivated by the race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability of the victim. Swingle said his office sees about one hate crime a year. A spokesman for Attorney General Jay Nixon said that office does not track the number of hate crimes in Missouri.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.