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Trial probes beating death

TRACY MCLAUGHLIN

A murder trial with white-supremist and neo-Nazi overtones is now underway to delve into the death of an Ottawa man who was beaten to death with a baseball bat at a Collingwood home April 16, 2006.

Now on trial is Christopher Broughton, 29, of Hamilton, who is charged with first-degree murder of Stephen Long, 22, of Ottawa.

So far the jury has heard how a group of "skinheads" and other young males gathered at 137 Elm St. in Collingwood for a keg party Easter weekend.

Court heard that Long travelled from Ottawa to party with the group that night then fell asleep on the living room floor where he was beaten on the back of the head with the bat as he slept in the early hours of the next morning.

In court, the jury looked upon photographs of Long's body, which was a veritable billboard of tattoos elaborately etched all over his body. Images depicted a Ku Klux Klan member on a white horse, swastikas, flaming crosses, barbed wire and words in foreign languages covering his neck, chest, hands and fingers.

The jury also saw photographs of a large flag with a swastika hung on a bedroom wall of the Elm Street house where Long was killed.

In court, Brad Genno, 27, told the court he was a close friend of the murdered man and had met him at a "skinhead" concert years earlier.

He described the term skinhead as a subculture that includes "white working- class males" between the ages of 18 and 30.

On the witness stand, Genno told the jury that Broughton, whom he also met at a skinhead concert, was drunk and got into a short fist fight outside the house with another man, but it ended quickly. Afterward, he said Long slapped Broughton and told him he was an embarrassment.

Later, he and Long went to sleep in

the living room and when he woke up on the couch in the morning, he said he saw Broughton standing in front of him with a baseball bat.

"I bolted," said Genno. Panicked, he said he ran from the house and down the street. When he returned to the house, police and paramedics were already there.

Long was taken to Toronto hospital where he later died.

The six-week trial continues today.

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