Gem State Roundup

Wassmuth Center to host play reading to honor gay man who died in Idaho hate crime

By: - September 8, 2023 4:25 am

The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights was founded in 1996 to construct a memorial to human rights. In 2002, it established the Idaho Anne Frank Memorial, the only memorial of its kind in the U.S. (Mia Maldonado / Idaho Capital Sun)

On Saturday, the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights is inviting the Treasure Valley community to a reading of “Walking Steven Home,” a play by Gregory Hinton in memory of Steven Nelson, a gay man who was killed in Caldwell in a hate crime

In April 2016, Nelson, 49, died after responding to an online ad promising a sexual encounter. He instead was attacked by then 23-year-old Kelly Schneider, who beat, stripped and robbed him near Lake Lowell, the Idaho Statesman previously reported. 

Schneider, now 30, is incarcerated at a federal prison in Kentucky with a release date set in 2052, federal inmate records show.

According to a press release, the play is an assemblage of the impact statements of Nelson’s family who spoke at the Canyon County courthouse during Schneider’s sentencing.

Where: Lincoln Auditorium, Idaho State Capitol Building, Boise
When: Saturday, Sept. 9. Doors open at 6 p.m. Performance begins at 6:30 p.m.

Hinton, an award-winning playwright, was inspired by the impact statements read by Nelson’s family, who in turn reflects on the “eloquence of their grief” in his play, according to the press release.

For more information about the event, click here.

The community reading will include local public officials including former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones, Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, Boise City Councilman Jimmy Hallyburton, and Rep. Chris Mathias, D-Boise. The reading will also include Roger Sherman, the executive director of the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund, and Dan Prinzing, the education director at the Idaho Human Rights Education Center. 

The reading is expected to run about 45 minutes. 

The Wassmuth Center is hosting the event to keep with its mission, “to promote respect for human dignity and diversity through education and to foster individual responsibility to work for peace and justice,” according to the press release. 


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Mia Maldonado
Mia Maldonado

Mia Maldonado joined the Idaho Capital Sun after working as a breaking news reporter at the Idaho Statesman covering stories related to crime, education, growth and politics. She previously interned at the Idaho Capital Sun through the Voces Internship of Idaho, an equity-driven program for young Latinos to work in Idaho news. Born and raised in Coeur d'Alene, Mia moved to the Treasure Valley for college where she graduated from the College of Idaho with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and international political economy.