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Idaho man admits to federal hate crime in gay man killing

An Idaho man has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime in the death of a gay man in exchange for a chance at a 28-year sentence instead of life in prison.

Twenty-three-year-old Kelly Schneider on Tuesday pleaded guilty to willful assault based on sexual orientation, resulting in death, in U.S. District Court in Boise.

His sentencing is set for April 26. Schneider previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in state court in the death of 49-year-old Steven Nelson.

The hate-crime charge was filed in federal court because Idaho doesn’t include sexual orientation and gender identity in its malicious harassment law.

Schneider acknowledges in court documents luring Nelson to a remote area and using steel-toed boots to kick Nelson roughly two-dozen times while Nelson begged for his life.

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