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Man Sentenced to 18 - 20 Years in Prison for
2013 Murder of Gay Detroit Man

DETROIT - March 8, 2019 - On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Judge Michael Hathaway sentenced Hameer Alkotait to 18-20 years in prison. Alkotait earlier had accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors convicting him of second-degree murder. The case arose from the 2013 robbery, killing, and burning of a gay man, Gabino Rodriguez. Alkotait's co-defendant, Andrew Czarnecki, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after a trial in December 2018.

The cases were prosecuted by Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz of the Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP), which is collaboration between the Prosecutor's Office and Fair Michigan Foundation, Inc. FMJP is a program that assists Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons.

Alkotait and Czarnecki targeted Rodriguez for robbery because he was gay. During the robbery, Alkotait and Czarnecki savagely beat and strangled Gambino, and then burned his body beyond recognition in a field in Southwest Detroit. Fair Michigan President Alanna Maguire welcomed Alkotait and Czarnecki's convictions, and noted, "After six long years, justice has finally been attained for the family of Gabino Rodriguez. These cold-case murder convictions resulted from Detective Kevin Wight and the Detroit Police Department's tenacious investigation of this brutal crime, and Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz's determined prosecutions. We are grateful for their efforts, and we are committed to continue the fight for justice for the LGBTQ community in Wayne County."