Austin | San Antonio

Home Austin | San Antonio
Award-Winning News Coverage For Austin | San Antonio From About Magazine.

Corpus Christi residents charged with federal hate crime charges

hate crime in texas

Corpus Christi residents charged with federal hate crime charges

(CORPUS CHRISTI, TX) Federal hate crime indictments were returned Monday against two Corpus Christi men accused of beating and torturing a gay black man back in 2012.

hate-crime-300x211 Corpus Christi residents charged with federal hate crime chargesIn the days after the alleged attack, the victim told KRIS6 News he was targeted because of sexual orientation and race. Per policy, we are not identifying the victim of an alleged sexual assault.

He detailed how he owed the men $5. The victim claims that even though he paid them the money, they still beat him, poured bleach in his eyes, stripped him naked and sexually assaulted him with a broom or mop and forced him to clean up blood in the home.

The victim says he was only able to escape several hours into the ordeal by jumping out a second story window.

Evidence presented by the FBI and the Corpus Christi Police Department led to the indictments against 32-year-old Jimmy Garza Jr. And 22-year-old Ramiro Serrata Jr for conspiracy to commit hate crimes, a hate crime violation based on race and color, a hate crime violation based on sexual orientation and using a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

If convicted, both face a maximum life sentence in federal prison.

Candlelight Vigil Held in Houston for Gay Man Beaten To Death

candle light vigil austin texas

Candlelight Vigil Held in Houston for Gay Man Beaten To Death

HOUSTON, TX —It was only four months ago that 18-year-old  Stephen Roy Sylvester, Jr moved from Houston to Austin for family and education. His plans included studying at Austin Community College, and then University of Texas.

Today local, state, national and world news outlets focused on his death ranging from the The New York Daily News, USA Today, The Washington TimesCBS News, and Instinct Magazine.

In Houston on Sunday, the people that knew him best and loved him- paid their respects with a candle light vigil. His pictures were scattered, and surrounded by candles. His friends sat silently in a circle. Their hearts were broken. One  of the guys in the crowd was Taylor Shirley.

Every single piece of news coverage of this horrible loss; Shirley is mentioned as a “friend,” but that is almost as painful as the loss Shirley is feeling. Every reporter refers to me as a ‘friend’ he told us.

Shirley was the boyfriend for almost a year before Stephen moved. “He was larger than life. He walked into a room and filled it up in the best way.” says Shirley.  “He was the type of person that if you were walking past him and he noticed you looking sad, he would stop you and ask to talk about it.” Shirley tells About Magazine.

Shirley fondly remembered Sylvester’s tenderness and understanding for people, particularly those in the transgender community.

Stephen lived with Shirley in Spring, Texas and attended Klein Collins High School before he moved to Austin.

Suspect Charged For Murder of Boyfriend Has Criminal Past Involving Alcohol

gay man killed by boyfriend in Austin Texas

Suspect Charged For Murder of Boyfriend Has Criminal Past Involving Alcohol

(AUSTIN) – It was not the first time that Bryan Canchola has had issues with alcohol and the police department. Bryan Canchola, full name Bryan Michael Perez Canchola, originally from McAllen, Tx  is no stranger to law enforcement. Records indicate Canchola was arrested for public intoxication and charged with failure to identify him self to a police officer.

Back on May 31, 2013 when Canchola was only 19 years old McAllen Police Department    indicated he was arrested and charged, and was sentenced to probation.

Texas law states that in order to purchase or consume alcohol a person must be the legal age of 21 years old. Cantle was only 19. When questioned by police, he supplied a false name.

Travis county arrest records indicate that Canchola had been drinking heavily the night he is accused of violently beating his boyfriend to death. He is only 20 years old now.

Austin, Texas is a popular college town with the famous 4th, 5th, and 6th street bars that are busy on any given night of the week packed with college students, and visitors.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission that regulates the sale of alcohol would not confirm or deny that an investigation into the sell of minors is being conducted. With Austin Police affidavits filed in the Stephen Sylvester murder investigation clearly stating the couple had been drinking on 4th street, is is possible several investigations into under age drinking will be conducted.