July 14, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Colorado Springs Shooter Sentenced to 55 Life Terms for Hate Crimes at Club Q

Anderson Lee Aldrich Pleads Guilty, Receives Life Without Parole

Anderson Lee Aldrich, the homophobe who killed five people and injured 19 others at an LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs, pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes on Tuesday. Aldrich was sentenced to 55 life terms in prison without the possibility of parole but did not apologize or address the victims’ families.

Prosecutors highlighted the importance of Aldrich’s acknowledgment of the hate that motivated the mass shooting. As part of the plea agreement, Aldrich repeatedly admitted to committing hate crimes.

“The admission that these were hate crimes is important to the government, and it’s important to the community of Club Q,” said prosecutor Alison Connaughty. “You went to this community’s safe space and mass murdered people. This community is much stronger than you, stronger than your armor and stronger than your weapons, and sure as hell stronger than your hatred,” she added, noting the significance of the sentencing during Pride Month.

Connaughty emphasized that Club Q was more than just a bar; it was a sanctuary for the LGBTQ+ community. Aldrich pleaded guilty to all 74 charges, including violations of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, as well as gun crimes related to the shooting. Aldrich had initially pleaded not guilty.

United States District Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney officially accepted Aldrich’s plea and sentenced him to life imprisonment without parole in addition to a 190-year prison term.

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