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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.