ELMIRA, N.Y. — A jury in Chemung County, N.Y. has found Louis M. Duffy guilty of murder in the May 1 killing of Clinton “Billy” Lewis, the owner of Club Chill, a gay bar in Elmira, N.Y.
The jury convicted Duffy, 21, of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after about two and a half hours of deliberation on Thursday.
Duffy, of Horeseheads, N.Y., previously confessed to the murder, telling police that the shooting occurred after the two men had consensual sex.
In his testimony, Duffy said a molestation “flashback,” coupled with his first homosexual experience, caused him to shoot Lewis after the pair had sex. Duffy said he was abused by his adoptive grandfather when he was in the second and third grades.
Duffy said he went to stay with Lewis the morning of the killing because Lewis had offered him a construction job the following day at a lakehouse. He said he had no intention of having sex with Lewis, but when Lewis started kissing him, “I let it go on,” Duffy said.
Duffy testified that he’s still unsure of his sexuality – he’s still attracted to women but has homosexual “tendencies.” He said he began having thoughts of sex with men in 11th grade, but he never experimented before his encounter with Lewis.
Duffy claimed to be under extreme emotional distress, and that after Lewis, 53, told him they were going to have sex again, he grabbed a gun from his backpack and fired.
Duffy claimed he was high on cocaine at the time of the murder.
During the trial, prosecutors grilled Duffy about a letter he wrote from jail about a month before the trial, which said he would lie on the stand to avoid a murder conviction.
Duffy could face 25 years to life when he’s sentenced on January 9.