Huntsville, TX – A parole board in Huntsville, Texas has denied Jon Buice parole for the 5th time in connection with his role in the 1991 murder of gay Houston banker, Paul Broussard. Buice was convicted in 1992 for stabbing Broussard several times outside the Houston gay nightclub Heaven and was sentenced to 45 years in prison. He has served 17 years of his sentence. Fox 26 News has learned that the convicted killer may be granted parole in little more than a year from now. Andy Kahan, a victims’ rights activist, told Fox 26 reporters that he could not remember any other case as serious as this one in which a prisoner has been denied parole only to be available for parole just one year later. Broussard’s mother, Nancy Rodriguez, flew from Georgia to testify at the November parole board hearing for her son’s murderer. In 2007, as she was about to attend Buice’s 3rd parole hearing, Rodriguez said to KPRC Local News 2 reporters,”I still miss my son terribly. I really do. I think about where would he be today. What would he have accomplished in his life?” Rodriguez has tirelessly fought to keep Buice in prison for at least 27 full calendar years, one year’s imprisonment for each year of Paul’s short life. In 1991, 10 males, including Buice, attacked Broussard and two other men as they left the Montrose area gay nightclub. According to testimony at the 1992 trial, the teens who brutally beat and stabbed Broussard to death were under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Buice is the last person remaining in prison for the hate crime murder. Buice has his advocates, too. They point out that he has changed his life. While in prison, he has earned several college degrees, and he has been what his boosters describe as “a model prisoner.” Rodriguez is not impressed by their arguments. “The issue is not what he’s become,” she said to the Houston press. “It’s what he’s done to get here.”
Brewster County, TX – Two men have been arrested and charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 19-year-old man in Terlingua, Texas on Sunday, December 6 in what is unfolding into a possible anti-gay hate crime story. While the sexual orientation of the victim remains officially undisclosed, local sources allege that the teenager is gay. Daniel Martinez, 46, has been charged with sexual assault and is being held on $35,000 bond. Kristopher Buchanan, 27, is being held on outstanding warrants from other counties. The suspects are expected to face additional charges. Pink News summarizes reports from Texas saying that the victim ,whose name has not been released by law enforcement, was abducted outside a bar in Terlingua, a town on the Texas-Mexico Border, and driven in his own car to a remote area in southern Brewster County. The Big Bend Gazette reports that the youth was sexually assaulted by the pair before his car was set afire. He was forced into a private residence where his attackers sexually assaulted him again. He managed to escape, running three miles across the desert to a highway where a Brewster County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted him and took him to a hospital for treatment. Officials say that the victim is currently recovering in an undisclosed location. Law enforcement has been tight-lipped about the crime, but both local and LGBT press have speculated that the assault was an anti-gay hate crime. Some have gone so far as to equate the attack with the fatal pistol-whipping of hate crime victim Matthew Shepard. When questioned about the investigation, Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson told reporters that the case is being treated as a kidnapping, sexual assault and auto arson. “Everybody’s in jail,” said Dodson. “That’s the best part.” A rally was held last night in support of the victim.
Contra Costa County, California – According to The Bay Area Reporter, an out lesbian known only to the public as “Jane Doe” was brutally raped by four men who attacked her because of her sexual orientation. The first preliminary hearing on the case is scheduled to be held in January 2010, over a year after the savage rape incident that nearly took her life. On December 13, 2008 at about 9:30 p.m., “Jane,” 28 at the time of the attack according to an AP wire service report, was sexually assaulted by the men who watched her get out of her car in Richmond’s Belding-Woods neighborhood. They had noticed a rainbow pride sticker on the car window, which police allege aided them in targeting the lesbian. They forced her back into her car after being disturbed by someone approaching the scene of the crime, and drove her seven blocks to another location near an apartment complex on Burbeck Avenue where she was repeatedly sexually assaulted and beaten with a blunt object. During the assault, the rapists allegedly taunted her for being a lesbian. They stole her wallet, dumped her naked on the street, and drove away in her car, which was later identified by a rainbow sticker on the windshield. Wounded and bleeding, “Jane” crawled to one of the apartments, and found help from the residents, who called the Richmond police. She was transported to the hospital where her injuries were treated, and evidence of the rapes was collected with a rape kit. “Jane’s” car was located in Richmond the next day. Four suspects were arrested two weeks later, Humberto Hernandez Salvador, 32; Josue Gonzalez, 22; Darrell Albert Hodges, 16; and Robert James Ortiz, 16. Salvador, Gonzalez, and Hodges pleaded not guilty earlier this year to felony kidnapping, carjacking, forcible rape, and forcible oral copulation. Ortiz will enter a plea on similar charges January 7, according to documents of the court. Bail for Ortiz is $3.5 million, bail for Salvador is $2.2 million, and bail for Gonzalez and Hodges is $1.9 million. The Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney, Danielle Douglas told BAR reporters that the victim, who is partnered and has an eight year old child, is “coping” the best she can. “That’s really all I can say,” Douglas said. “She’s doing her best to try to move forward.” Richmond Police spokesman Lieutenant Mark Gagan commented to the BAR on the brutality of the crime: “What’s difficult in this case is the level of aggression that the suspects showed was so immediate and over the top I don’t think that there was anything that our victim could have done to avoid being victimized,” said Gagan. “From what I understand, it was an immediate, extremely aggressive attack without provocation and without really any warning.” District Attorney Office spokespeople say that the complexity of this case makes it move so slowly through the court system. Since serious jail time is involved for all the suspects if proven guilty, each one of them has secured separate counsel, and all the defense attorneys are asking for maximum time to prepare for the trials, which will probably be split among the defendants rather being done as a single trial for all four men. “Jane Doe’s” legal counsel, Gloria Allred, who represented the mother of slain transgender woman Gwen Araujo, is not pressing the court dates, given the level of trauma her client sustained from the multiple rapes and the viciousness of the attack. A preliminary hearing is set for early January 2010, a usual legal procedure in California law in rape cases. If the preliminary hearing uncovers evidence enough for a trial in the case, then the wheels of justice will turn toward days in court for the four defendants and the victim of one of Richmond’s most brutal anti-LGBT hate crimes.
New Port Richey, FL – John Allen Ditulio, Jr., 23, is on trial in Pasco County Florida for the 2006 stabbing murder of a 17-year-old boy he thought was gay. Kristofer King, the victim, was a houseguest of Patricia Wells and her son, Brandon Wininger, on the night of March 23, 2006 when Ditulio, a member of the American Nazis, allegedly invaded the Wells home angered by her relationship with an African American man and by the fact that her son was gay. At midnight, according to Crime News 2000, a man wearing a military-style gas mask broke into the Griffin Park area trailer and attacked Wells, who was dozing on a futon. The assailant slashed Wells in the face and hands, and then turned his murderous attentions to King, who had been on a computer in another room, and tried to escape from the home. He stabbed King repeatedly, and then fled the scene. Patricia Wells remembered that the boy cried out in the midst of the attack, “Why are you doing this to me?” King died from blood loss the next day at an area hospital. Charlene King, the victim’s mother, believes that her son’s murder was a case of mistaken identity. She told the St. Petersburg Times that the attacker must have thought Kristofer King was Wininger, whom the Neo-Nazi hated because he was gay. “What makes it so awful for being killed by someone like that is that Kris never judged anyone by their skin color or sexual preference,” the grieving mother said. “If you were his friend, you were his friend. They thought it was Brandon because Brandon is gay. What kind of a man would do this? Even if Kris had been Brandon, how can you just take a young man’s life?” The King family acknowledged that Kristofer and Brandon were good friends, and that their son would sometimes stay overnight at his friend’s trailer. Wininger was away from his home on the night of the attack. Wells and Wininger had trouble with the “Teak Street Nazis” before. Their trailer home was adjacent to the swastika-draped Nazi compound, and on at least one occasion members of the hate group had tried to break into their home. They had shouted racial and anti-gay epithets at them for weeks before the double stabbing. The St. Petersburg Times also reports that Guy King, the murder victim’s father, received a Christmas card from Ditulio, decorated with a tombstone drawn on the front that read, “Rest In Peace. Here Lies Dead Faggot.” The message inside: “I hope your Christmas is full of memories of your dead gay son. Merry f—— Christmas.” The card was signed, “Syn,” Ditulio’s nickname among the Nazis, according to Pasco County prosecutors. Authorities are treating the case as a hate crime as well as murder and assault. Ditulio, who was 20 at the time of the attack, is charged with first degree murder and first degree attempted murder. If convicted, he may face the death penalty. The year following his arrest and imprisonment pending the trial, Ditulio attempted to escape, using hacksaw blades and a makeshift rope made of bed sheets. He was stymied by a tangle of pipes as he tried to saw his way out of his cell through a metal toilet, according to the Tampa Tribune. Defense attorneys have tried to sew doubt about the identity of the attacker, as well as attempting to play up the mistaken identity aspect of the case in order to lessen their client’s liability. They successfully argued to the judge that Ditulio’s offensive tattoos covering his face and neck, which he acquired while in prison awaiting trial, would prejudice the jury against their client. The judge, in a controversial ruling, ordered that a makeup artist would be hired for ten days at the rate of up to $125 a day to cover Ditulio’s tattoos. Before and after photos of Ditulio may be seen below, courtesy of the local Fox affliliate.