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LGBT advocacy groups say Texas killings should be prosecuted as hate crime

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jose Alfonso Aviles

LGBT advocacy groups are calling for the shooting deaths in of a lesbian and her mother Austin, Texas, earlier this week, to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

On Tuesday, Jose Alfonso Aviles, 45, reportedly distraught over his daughter’s lesbian relationship, was arrested for killing his daughter’s girlfriend Norma Hurtado, 24, and her mother, 57-year-old Maria Hurtado.

“My first reaction was this was a hate crime,” said Dennis Coleman, Executive Director of Equality Texas, who lobbies for hate crime laws.

Coleman said out of 1,800 hate crime cases in Texas, only six people have been prosecuted for it under the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act .

Meghan Stabler, a board member of the Human Rights Campaign in Austin, said Aviles should be prosecuted under hate crime laws. Gay rights groups Atticus Circle, Out Youth and Equality Texas agreed, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

“We understand that the penalties for capital murder and a hate crime are the same, but this wasn’t just murder; it was a biased and motivated hate crime,” Stabler said.

Prosecutors said they must wait for the investigation to be complete before determining whether they can classify it as a hate crime.

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Filed under: Texas

12 more reader comments:

  1. why the hell wouldnt it be?

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 2:51pm
  2. It was so obvious that he only killed those 2 because they allowed his daughter to openly be a lesbian. It shouldn’t say “should be prosecuted as a hate crime” It should read ” WILL be prosecuted as a hate crime”

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 2:53pm
  3. It was so obvious that he only killed those 2 because they allowed his daughter to openly be a lesbian. It shouldn’t say “should be prosecuted as a hate crime” It should read ” WILL be prosecuted as a hate crime”

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 2:53pm
  4. Makes sense…he did it because of the lesbian situation, so yes this is a “hate crime”.

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 3:01pm
  5. Ugh…He needs to get prosecuted and stop trying to act like there is no evidence towards this situation. It is a freakin’ hate crime and always will be. two people have been killed. that’s it…with the disturbing messages.

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 3:11pm
  6. Ugh…He needs to get prosecuted and stop trying to act like there is no evidence towards this situation. It is a freakin’ hate crime and always will be. two people have been killed. that’s it…with the disturbing messages.

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 3:11pm
  7. Well duh :/

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 3:25pm
  8. Duh! Ya think?! People have been getting away with crime’s against people for how many year’s? It doesn’t matter if your gay, straight, black, white, royalty or poor! Anybody caught killing a human being should be punished!! I don’t believe in the death penalty, what good is that gonna teach them? I believe in putting them in that little cell with a picture of their victom(s) and letting them look at their before picture’s and the picture’s of what they did. Let them think long and hard and then eventually let them go insane.

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 3:34pm
  9. Duh! Ya think?! People have been getting away with crime’s against people for how many year’s? It doesn’t matter if your gay, straight, black, white, royalty or poor! Anybody caught killing a human being should be punished!! I don’t believe in the death penalty, what good is that gonna teach them? I believe in putting them in that little cell with a picture of their victom(s) and letting them look at their before picture’s and the picture’s of what they did. Let them think long and hard and then eventually let them go insane.

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 3:34pm
  10. How can that not be a hate crime? Are they that stupid down in Texas?

    Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 4:17pm
  11. Usually the lawmaker majority is Heri. There are still some sound souls in Texas though

    Posted on Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 10:34am
  12. @Heriberto….YES!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 4:35pm