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2 Men and 1 Teen Found Guilty for Killing of Gay Man 'Because they Wanted to'

by Brendan Walker

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday March 26, 2021

Shae Nicholson and Martel Brown
Shae Nicholson and Martel Brown   (Source:Sheffield Crown Court)

A case where three men, and one 15 year old teen beat a gay man to death with bricks in 2019 reached a resolution, after they were found guilty following a two year legal battle in the U.K., according to New York Daily News.

Jerry Appicella, a 51-year-old small business owner, was attacked by the group of men while on the way home from his store in December, 2019 according to local authorities.

Shae Nicholson, one of Apicella's attackers, was captured on video "using homophobic slurs" to taunt his victim and was "bragging about the attack" at length according to Doncaster police.

Police only found Apicella 12 days later, after his family reported him missing to the local authorities.

All individuals involved in the attack were identified and arrested that same month.

On Thursday, Kian Gerrard and Nicholson, both 20, as well Martell Fabian Brown, 24, and the unnamed teenager received their verdicts from Sheffield Crown Court.

Brown and the teenager were found guilty of manslaughter, while Nicholson was found guilty for Appicella's murder. Gerrard was found not guilty on all charges.

For the duration of the trial, the jury was informed that the group's motive for the attack was just that "they wanted to," though authorities have later stated that Appicella's sexuality and appearance were likely motivators for the attack.

In the words of Chief Inspector Simon Palmer, the group were regular visitors in Apicella's store, and were "being rowdy, creating a hostile atmosphere for shoppers" on the day they attacked him.

Continuing, he stated that the group "taunted and mocked him while he was in the shop," and later that video footage showed "clearly shows Nicholson, crouched down, lying in wait and the others stalking him from behind."

Nicholson, Brown, and the teenager will be sentenced in May.