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Trial Starts For Texas Man Accused Of Raping And Shooting Lesbian Teen Couple

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

The trial of David Strickland, accused of shooting, raping, and stripping a young lesbian couple before killing one execution style has begun.


HOUSTON Sept. 21 — The trial for a man accused in the brutal shooting of a couple in Corpus Christi four years ago is underway.

David Strickland is accused of shooting and raping Mollie Olgin, 19 and her partner Mary Chapa, 18 in June 2012 at a small park near Portland, Tx. He is charged with capital murder, aggravated sexual assault, and aggravated assault. Strickland has pled not guilty.

The couple was discovered in the park by a couple bird watching. Olgin died at the scene resulting from a gunshot wound to the head, her partner Chapa survived but lost functionality to the left side of her body.

At the scene, investigators discovered two .45-caliber bullet casings, cigarette butts, beer cans, a can of iced tea, and other bottles.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2017

A note from the editor-in-chief.

Today is 18th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). It is a day not only to be acknowledged by the world’s trans community, but by the world as a whole. This is because trans people should not be pigeonholed to just their community, or even just to the LGBTQIA community. Just like cisgender people, transgender people are just … people.

Trans Day of Remembrance has been annually recognized since 1999, when it was established by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith. Smith started the memorialization in response to the murder of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered the year before. In the years since its inception, TDoR has become a vigil not only for Hester, but for all the trans people who have lost their lives to violence in the years since.

Today, we can see that violence against the trans community has not changed much. In 2017, 25 trans people have been victim to a fatal crime, including Texas’s own Stephanie Montez, a 47-year-old trans woman from Robstown. The majority of those people were trans women of color; and those numbers are up by 2 from 2016, with still a month and a half of the year left to go before the beginning of 2018.

The names of the people lost in 2017 are as follows: Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow (28), Mesha Caldwell (41), Sean Hake (age unknown), Jojo Striker (23), Tiara Lashaytheboss Richmond (24), Jaquarrius Holland (18), Chyna Doll Dupree (31), Ciara McElveen (21), Alphonza Watson (38), Chayviss Reed (age unknown), Kenneth Bostick (59), Sherrell Faulkner (46), Kenne McFadden (26), Josie Berrios (28), Ava Le Ray Barrin (17), Ebony Morgan (28), Troy “Tee Tee” Dangerfield (32), Gwenyvere River Song (26), Kiwi Herring (30), Kashmire Redd (28), Derricka Banner (26), Ally Steinfeld (17), Stephanie Montez (47), and Candace Towns (30).

Sadly, the attitude toward the trans community around the country is not generally improving – especially so with a president in the Oval Office who perpetuates antiquated and ridiculous stereotypes about the trans community by trying to ban trans servicemen and women from the military. From there, it trickles down. It trickles down to his supporters, those who are unsure of him, but who still listen, and then to the children of all of those people. Children who, if I might add, we should be educating about equality, about not seeing gender identity or sexual orientation or color or religion or nationality.

That’s why here at About Magazine, I’m making it a personal mission to make About Magazine + About News just as inclusive of our trans community as it is of the lesbian, bisexual, gay, and pansexual community. We will also be more inclusive of the intersex and asexual communities, so that no one is left behind.

To do so, we will be launching in 2018 our first page on the website for trans-only content, aptly titled About Trans. Currently, we are looking for trans writers and editors to be a part of this initiative. Until then, I will oversee it. However, I am a cis person, and in order for this operation to be genuine and authentic, it is my earnest belief that this portion of our site should be trans-run. If you or anyone you know would like to be a part of About Trans, feel free to email me at anthony@about-online.com.

Going forward, let’s remember what today stands for, and remind ourselves and our trans friends, neighbors, and loved ones that they are just as important as anyone else, and that we’re there to aid them if they should ever need it in any way. Give them your love, and give them your support, because they are just as much a part of the LGBTQIA community as anyone else that falls into any of those other categories. And if you don’t believe this to be true, read a little bit of our content today so that you can understand why trans people are so important to the queer cause. Because as genderqueer activist and musician C.N. Lester said, “Even when we are confused about someone’s gender, and don’t have a greater awareness of what it means to be trans, we have a choice to respond with kindness rather than cruelty.”

Choose kindness.

Choose community.

Choose love.

 

Anthony Ramirez

Editor-in-Chief

 

For more information on Transgender Day of Remembrance, visit the GLADD website here. 

2 Men Convicted Of Torture Of Gay Texas Man

2 Men Convicted Of Torture Of Gay Texas Man

 

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two South Texas men have received the maximum 15-year sentences in federal prison after pleading guilty to federal hate crime charges in the March 2012 torture of a gay African-American man in Corpus Christi.

Ramiro Serrata Jr. (23) and Jimmy Garza (33) were sentenced Wednesday in Corpus Christi by Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head. Both men must pay the victim $10,800 in restitution, serve three years of supervised release and register as sex offenders. Both pleaded guilty last September.

The indictment alleges that on Mar. 8, 2012, Garza and Serrata conspired to assault a gay, African-American man because of his race, color and sexual orientation.  According to the indictment, the defendants invited the male victim into an apartment in Corpus Christi then assaulted him while calling him racial and homophobic epithets.  Over the course of approximately three hours, the conspirators allegedly punched and kicked the victim and assaulted him with various dangerous weapons, including, a frying pan, a coffee mug, a belt and a chair.  During the assault, the conspirators poured a household cleaning agent or chemical solution onto the victim’s face and eyes, pistol whipped him with a handgun and whipped him with a belt, according to Federal Department of Justice.

When the victim began to bleed, the defendants allegedly forced him to remove all of his clothing and clean up the blood throughout the apartment.

The indictment further alleges that after the victim was completely naked, the defendants sodomized him using a broom or mop and another unknown object.

Throughout the assault, the defendants repeatedly called the man racial and homophobic slurs and made other anti-black and anti-gay statements, according to legal documents.  The conspirators also allegedly prevented the victim from leaving the apartment by physical force and threats of force.  The man eventually escaped the apartment by jumping out of a window.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Corpus Christi Resident Agency with assistance from the Corpus Christi Police Department and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jared Fishman and Nicholas Durham of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruben Perez of the Southern District of Texas.