The suspect in a mass shooting at an LGBT club in Colorado Springs last weekend will still face hate crime charges despite identifying as a member of the LGBT community, it appears.
According to court filings obtained by The New York Times, 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich uses “they/them” pronouns and is referred to using the prefix “Mx.” by his attorneys.
“The lawyers refer to their client as Mx. Anderson Aldrich,” Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs wrote on Twitter with a picture of the documents.
A footnote identifies “Mx. Aldrich” as “non-binary.”
Aldrich is facing five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of “bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury” for allegedly perpetrating an attack that killed five and injured at least 25.
The news that he identifies as non-binary was a shocking twist in a case that has been politicized by proponents of LGBT lifestyles who blamed right-wing figures for perpetrating rhetoric that could lead to such attacks, particularly as the shooting took place one day before the International Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The nightclub, Q, was set to host a drag show the following day to commemorate the event.
However, the fact that Aldrich ostensibly identifies as LGBT is unlikely to change the hate crime charges, Insider reported.
“It’s certainly something that the defense would try to use, but it’s not in and of itself a bar from hate crime charges depending on what the other evidence is,” criminal justice professor Brian Levin of California State University, San Bernardino, told the outlet.
“The notion that because someone might belong to a group does not mean that some…dispute revolving around that group membership,” he explained.
Formal charges are set to be presented against Aldrich in December.
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