Juan José Martínez Matos, who had been scheduled to go on trial Monday for the murder of Jorge Steven López Mercado, confessed to the crime during a hearing in Caguas, and told the court he understood the consequences of his actions, according to a report in Edge.
Prosecutors contend Martinez stabbed Lopez to death before he decapitated, dismembered and partially burned his body before dumping it along a remote roadside near Cayey on Nov. 12, 2009. The gay teenager’s murder sent shockwaves across Puerto Rico and around the world.
Matos, 26, a married father of four, confessed he was cruising the “red light” district of Caguas, a city south of San Juan, looking for women and picked up 19-year-old Mercado thinking he was a woman, a police report said. Matos allegedly went into a rage when he discovered that Lopez was a man.
The case had gained national attention because activists demanded that U.S. authorities prosecute it as a hate crime.