Nashville, Tenn. A former soldier convicted in connection with the murder of another soldier because he was believed to be gay was released from a local halfway house, according to an advocacy group for gays and lesbians in the military.
Steve Ralls, spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said former Spc. Justin Fisher was released Tuesday based on "information from the parents" of the victim, Pfc. Barry Winchell.
Army officials have not confirmed the release and attempts to reach Fisher were unsuccessful. When The Associated Press called the halfway house in the Nashville area on Tuesday, a resident who answered said Fisher had been released.
Winchell, a soldier from the Kansas City area who was 21 at the time of his death in 1999, was beaten with a baseball bat as he slept in his cot on the base at Fort Campbell, Ky., which sits on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
Pvt. Calvin Glover of Sulphur, Okla., was sentenced to life in prison for murdering Winchell. Fisher, who is from Lincoln, Neb., was given a 12 1/2-year sentence for lying to investigators.
However, he only served seven years before going to the halfway house operated by Diersen Charities Inc.