Crimes: Murder, Rape, Torture
Written by Tiffany, previously published in PYSIH.com
Do you remember your first friend in grade school? What about the games you all played together or their families? Are you still friends with them, and if so, do yours hold a special place in your heart, as mine do?
Let me tell you about Scotty Joe Weaver and his childhood friends. He met Chris Gaines and Nicole Kelsay in kindergarten and they remained friends throughout most of their lives, eventually becoming roommates once they were old enough to leave the nest.
At nine years old Scotty developed a cyst on the side of his neck. Later, the doctors determined it was Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. Chris and Nicole was there throughout his illness and treatment. Good friends, eh? Well I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Martha Weaver was very concerned, just like any normal mother would be. Scotty was her youngest of her four boys. Finally the cancer was in remission, and Mrs. Weaver could breathe a sigh of relief. Although by this time she was a widow raising 4 young sons on her own, she thought maybe, just maybe, Scotty could live a somewhat normal life.
You see, Scotty was gay and endured a lot of teasing and bullying from his peers at Baldwin County High, in Bay Minette, Alabama. At 18, Scotty, Nicole and Chris got a trailer in a small lot in Bay Minette not too far his mother. Although Scotty was the only one working out of the three, he would sometime pull double shifts at the local Waffle House to pay ALL the bills and to help his mother.
By now Chris Gaines and Nicole Kelsay were a couple, although Nicole,18, had a 2-year-old daughter – she often stayed with Scotty Joe Weaver’s mother. They had also met a new friend named Robert Porter, whom was VERY homophobic and often teased and humiliated Scotty. While these three partied and did IV drugs together Martha Weaver was caring for this child and Scotty Weaver was out working to keep a roof over their heads.
On July 18th, 2004, Scotty went to his mother’s home to pay her some money he had borrowed from her and told her that he was tired of Chris and Nicole because they’d pretty much taken over his home. Then he told her he loved her but had to go so he could get ready for work.
He returned to his trailer, and while dressing for work he was attacked and bound by none other than his “friends/roomates” and Robert Porter. Then, while Scotty Joe Weaver begged for his life, Robert Porter, Christopher Gaines And Nicole Kelsay taunted, strangled, beat, cut with razors, sodomized, urinated on, mutilated his genitals, and eventually murdered Scotty in the same home he provided for Chris and Nicole. They disposed of his body a few miles up the road, but not before they tied him to a tree, doused him in gasoline and lit him on fire.
After not hearing from her son for several days, Martha finally filed a missing person’s report on July 22nd, 2004. Later that night an RV driver discovered the charred remains and contacted police. The body was so badly burned that they had to ID him through dental records.
Shortly there after, they developed three suspects. Robert Porter, Christopher Gaines And Nicole Kelsay. They quickly confessed, all pointing the blame at the others and not taking responsibility for themselves. Why, though, would these people he had tried so hard to help do such an awful, horrendous thing?
**Drum roll please**
1) He was gay.
2) Money – Robert Porter, Christopher Gaines And Nicole Kelsay robbed Scotty Joe Weaver for between $65-$80 FREAKING DOLLARS!!!!!
So this is a hate crime right?!? NEGATIVE! In fact, a person who kills an individual in Alabama due to their sexual orientation isn’t eligible for the death penalty or even life without parole unless the killing is committed during the course of another felony including robbery.
David Whetstone the District Attorney for Baldwin County said, “This wasn’t a spur of the moment thing in fact, Scotty didn’t die right away, they had plenty of enough time to stop.” It took that and the fact they robbed Scotty to make Robert Porter, Christopher Gaines And Nicole Kelsay eligible for the death penalty.
In May 2007, after considering all the evidence, Chris Gaines pleaded guilty to murder so he didn’t have to go to trial and take a chance of receiving a date with the needle. He was sentenced to life without parole and is currently lodged at Holman Prison, Atmore, Alabama.
In September of 2004 Robert Porter pleaded guilty of 1st degree murder and 1st degree robbery and received 2 consecutive life terms.
Following in suit, Nicole Kelsay took a deal too. Only Nicole didn’t plead guilty to murder or robbery but pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and received a measly 20 years. Why, I don’t understand. Even though she didn’t actually kill him, she was there at the trailer, she didn’t call for help, nor did she go to police when everyone was looking for Scotty .
Sometimes I believe the judicial system is sexist, ya know.
Finally it’s over for some, but for Mrs. Weaver and her other son, Lum Jr., it has really just begun, because Scotty is gone and they have to live the rest of their lives without him. The only question Mrs. Weaver asked is “Why?”, but neither Robert Porter, Christopher Gaines nor Nicole Kelsay seemed to either want to or were able to answer the grieving mother.
All they could do is hold their head down a mumble, “I’m sorry.” I’m wondering if they were sorry for what they did or sorry they got caught? Lum, who is also openly gay, said:
“…even though I’m in fear for my own life, I have to be the voice for my baby brother.”
There is now a movie out about this story. It’s a documentary called “Small Town Gay Bar”, and though I haven’t seen it I have heard it’s a very good film, and I do intend to watch it some day.
I used to live in the town where this tragedy occurred, and I know Lum Weaver. He is an extraordinary young man, especially when dealing with this tragedy. He still holds himself at fault, because he feels as if Scotty followed in his footsteps when he decided to “come out of the closet” about his sexual orientation and live as an openly gay man.