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Hate crime charge in fatal attack on gay man lured to lake

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho man has been charged with a federal hate crime after prosecutors said he lured a gay man to a remote location near a lake and then beat him to death.

Kelly Schneider, 23, was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month, but the case was kept under seal until he was taken into federal custody, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said in a prepared statement. Schneider is set to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Schneider has already pleaded not guilty in a first-degree murder charge in Idaho state court in connection with the April 2016 death of Steven Nelson, 49. State prosecutors say Schneider posed as an escort on the website Backpage in order to rob those who responded to his ad. Three others have also been charged in state court in connection with the case. Schneider and Nelson are both from Nampa in southwestern Idaho.

Nelson was found naked and badly beaten wandering a neighborhood near Lake Lowell, west of Nampa. He was able to give police information about the attack, but died later in a hospital.

In the federal case, Schneider is charged with willful assault based on sexual orientation, resulting in death. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison. 

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