Former Soldier from Texas Accused of Murdering Trans Woman

Anthony Michael Bowden, a former Fort Bliss soldier, was tried and convicted of murder of a transgender woman, according to El Paso Times.

Bowden, who was recently found guilty of murder, stabbed 36-year-old trans woman Erykah Tijerina twenty-four times at the Rio Grande Government Apartment Complex in Texas with a chisel in 2016. He claims that this was done in self defense because he says that she raped him and was planning on blackmailing him. Erykah did in fact have a history of blackmailing her clients, but that is hardly any reason to kill her.

Erykah Tijerina, born Eric Tijerina, worked as a prostitute and identified as a transgender woman. The prosecutor referred to her as Erykah, while the defense team referred to her as Eric.

According to the defense, Erykah threatened to tell military personnel that Bowden had slept with a transgender woman and that he was her pimp. 

One of the defense lawyers, William Ahee, said “On Aug. 8, 2016, Eric threatened Anthony Michael Bowden,” Ahee said in his closing arguments. “She blackmailed him. He went to the apartment, and Eric started undressing him (Bowden). He (Tijerina) threatened him. He (Bowden) feared he was going to be raped again. He went to his car, got the chisel. Eric threatened him, and he (Bowden) had the right to defend himself.” 

That's a lot of misgendering.

Anyway, the prosecutors told the court that Bowden repeatedly lied during the trial and went to Tijerina's apartment with then intent to kill her and that he was never raped. Additionally, it was found that Bowden used Craigslist to solicit sex from Tijerina and after meeting with her in August 8th, he said that he was going to his car to get money to pay her but instead returned with a chisel and stabbed her to death.

Denise Butterworth, a state prosecutor, told the court that in order for the self defense claim to hold any water, there needed to be an imminent threat. The fact that Bowden left the apartment to go to his car to get the chisel shows that he could have left at any time and, as such, proves that he was not in any danger.

After hearing the verdict Bowden had no reaction, while his family wept. 

Blackmail is never a good thing but it's also not a good reason to murder someone and his claim of self defense was clearly a lie. I don't know if it was shock or apathy, but him not having a reaction to his verdict does not sit well with me. Now, did he kill Erykah because she was transgender or because he was embarrassed by wanting to have sex with a transgender woman? Either way, he shouldn't have done it.

h/t: El Paso Times.

Was This Killing a Case of Self-Defense for Ex-Model?

A former model has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after the murder of a man he met on the dating app Jack’d in April 2017 according the Daily Mail. David Keegan Riotto Haigh, 43, communicated with James Johnson Jr., 41, and arranged to meet up in Johnson’s Brooklyn apartment.

The two engaged in partying and drugs for about 48-hours. After Haigh wanted to leave, he claims that Johnson became violent and the two began to fight. The altercation ended in Haigh killing Johnson in what he calls ‘self-defense’.

Haigh called the police to report the incident at 5:58 a.m. to report the incident and authorities arrived to find Johnson in a pool of blood, with a knife sticking out of his chest, and bite marks all over his body. The apartment was in shambles and Haigh’s face covered in bruises and bite marks.

Still, Haigh’s argument in court was not convincing enough to a jury who found him guilty of manslaughter.

In court, Haigh said:

I took a life, a horrible fact that I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. It was never my intention to take his life. My only intent was not to let him take mine. I simply had no other choice. I will live with this guilt for the rest of this life.

Haigh’s attorney has assured they will be filing an appeal for the sentence.

h/t: Daily Mail

Gay Man Who Watched Strangulation Video With Wife Before Her Death Is Sentenced

Mitesh Patel is going to jail for the murder of his wife.

The Middlesbrough, England resident says that on May 14th, he popped out of is house to go buy a pizza. When he returned, he found his wife, Jessica Patel, motionless in the living room and the house was allegedly ransacked.

According to Mitesh Patel, a plastic shopping bag with the label “Tesco Bag for Life,” named after a local grocery store, was wrapped around her head and covered in her saliva. Plus, Jessica’s wrists, ankles, and mouth were wrapped in or covered by duct tape.

According to police and the Washington Post, Patel called in the emergency by saying, “Oh hiya, I think we’ve been burgled and my wife’s been attacked.”

But when police showed up to the scene, Jessica Patel was dead and other things didn’t add up. There was no evidence of forced entry, the house’s security camera was disabled by the uninstalling of its hard drive, and the tape was only applied a few minutes before their arrival.

Eventually, Patel was arrested as the prime suspect for the murder his wife.

Patel was been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years for killing Jessica Patel. The prosecution argued that Patel did so in order to collect 2 million euros (approximately $2.27 million) in life insurance. He was then going to move to Australia to meet a doctor he was romantically involved with.

Police's first suspicions of this plot came after they discovered a picture in the lining of Patel’s bedroom dresser. The photo showed Mitesh Patel and another man. The authorities then later found that Patel was using Grindr and discovered a conversation with an Australian doctor.

In this Grindr conversation, Patel alluded to a scheme against his wife. According to Teesside Live, Patel once wrote the lines:

 “Like you said, she’s a leaseholder. One day that lease will expire.”

He then later added, “What are your thoughts if she goes earlier than you think?”

Police investigation also found Mitesh Patel’s DNA underneath his wife’s fingernails. This matched up with the fact that Patel's neck was red with scratches during his first meeting with the authorities. Plus, no one else’s DNA, besides Mitesha’s and Jessica’s, was found on or near her body.

On top of this, Patel made several alarming searches on the internet such as “I need to kill my wife,” “plot to kill wife, why do I need co-conspirators,” “does life insurance pay if you are murdered,” and “Hindu funeral for a married woman.” 

During the murder trial, Patel and his defense team tried to state that the marriage between Mitesh and Jessica was a happy one. This is despite Mitesh being in the closet.

Mitesh said that there were no secrets in his marriage and that Jessica was aware of his being gay. His statement was backed by the fact that Jessica once sought out Mitesh’s brother for advice.

In addition, the prosecution brought forward that Mitesh once watched a video about strangulation. Mitesh then alleged that he and his wife watched the video together.He then commented on that being an ironic twist of fate.

"For the last six and a half months, every day in that prison cell, one of the many, many things I have thought is, 'how ironic was this?'.

"The cause of Jessica's death was that, and anyone sat there would be thinking, 'What on earth is going on?’”

Ultimately, the Teesside Crown Court didn’t believe Mitesh’s stories as he has been sentenced to jail for life with a minimum of 30 years.

h/t: The Washington Post, Teesside Live, Gazette Live

Police Identify Stabbing Victim As Gay Graphic Designer Jeffrey Parker

A 35-year-old graphic designer from Toronto was stabbed to death.

First responders found Jeffrey Parker, known as Jay Parker or Jay Tripper, in a George Street apartment around 4:10 p.m. on Thursday. Parker was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital, but died of his injuries a few hours later, according to CTV News Toronto.

After hearing the news, several associates and friends of Parker mourned his passing. Several remembered him as a kind and passionate soul.

“When I was 21, I had cancer and Jay threw a party for me. Almost 500 people showed up. It was really a defining moment in my life,” said former roommate Daniel.

“It was very, very difficult, very unexpected,” Daniel added. “He’s not the kind of person that would get into a conflict that escalated.”



A post shared by Jay Tripper (@jaytripper) on

Police also found a murder suspect, according to Toronto City News. A 22-year-old man named Tyler Reynolds was found at a fast food store near the house Parker was discovered. Reynolds was arrested in relation to the crime and charged with second-degree murder. Police say the two men knew each other, but are unsure of what their relationship was.

In addition, a GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for Parker’s funeral. Plus, some of the proceeds will go towards finding Parker’s boyfriend Kevin a new home due to the last one being where Parker died.

“We find ourselves in horror, in shock. Jay Tripper a.k.a Jeff Parker has left our cruel world without warning, without reason. We ask that you donate to help his partner Kevin cover the costs of extracting himself painlessly  from that accursed house on George st that has claimed two loved ones in the last year. We need a company to clean, pack and move out Kevin and jays belongings and to cover the storage costs while we grieve. Jay made some wonderful art, let us preserve it.”

Reynolds is scheduled to appear in court next week.



A post shared by Jay Tripper (@jaytripper) on

h/t: CTV News Toronto, Toronto City News

Closeted Man Accused Of Murdering Wife Shares "Ironic" Story Of Watching Strangulation Video Together

The UK Man who’s accused of choking his wife to death decides now’s the time ot share the story of how they watched a video about strangulation. We've been following the case for weeks now.

While on trial with the Teesside Crown Court for the death of 34-year-old Jessica Patel, 37-year-old Mitesh Patel, the pharmacist-turned-suspect shared what’s been on his mind since his arrest.

Mr. Patel shares that he and his wife once watched a YouTube video about “How long someone takes to die from strangulation.”

According to BBC News, Patel said the following while in court:

"For the last six and a half months, every day in that prison cell, one of the many, many things I have thought is, 'how ironic was this?'.

"The cause of Jessica's death was that, and anyone sat there would be thinking, 'What on earth is going on?’”

Patel denies the accusation that he killed his wife, but he does admit that he cheated on her.

The Teesside Crown Court found evidence that Patel was using the gay dating app Grindr to meet other men and wanted to start a new life with a male doctor.

The prosecution suggests that Patel murdered his wife to acquire a £2m life insurance claim and move to Australia.

The court also shared that the couple had been trying to hve children and went through three cycles of IVF treatment. During this process in 2017, Jessica Patel discovered that her husband was watching gay porn and was texting other men. She then sought the advice of Mitesh’s brother.

On top of that, the persecution also accused Mr. Patel of searching the internet for information about Hindu funerals for a married woman, insulin overdoses, and coroners.

In response, Patel says he feared being discovered as an Asian gay man, but he insists that he did not kill his wife.

"I cannot explain how I felt, it was the fear of being exposed as an Asian gay man, and I was going to let Jess down.

"One thing is the truth, I have not anything do to with killing Jessica."

The trial is ongoing.

Murder Suspect Claims There Were No Secrets in His Marriage

Earlier we wrote about the beginning stages of the court case of 37-year-old Mitesh Patel who was accused of killing his wife Jessica Patel. Mr. Patel was a prime suspect in the case and it was discovered that he had been cheating on his wife with various men using Grindr.

Now, the plot thickens as the trial unfurls with more details on the murder of Jessica Patel and the possible motives that Mitesh had to kill his wife.

Jessica was murdered by strangulation and suffocation with a plastic bag around her head. She was found bound by duct tape at the wrists and ankles. Mitesh called the police and said he was out and when he returned the home had been burglarized and she was dead. Authorities began to suspect Mitesh because he had scratches on his neck and then found the hard drive to their home security system buried in a suitcase. Not to mention, Mitesh had recently taken out a $2 million life insurance policy on his wife and also inquired about a will for he and his wife stating that the other would get everything should one of them die. Mitesh told police that the scratch was an injury he incurred at the gym, but his DNA was found under his wife’s fingernails.

One of the most horrific pieces of evidence is that Mitesh sent a text message to his wife asking her if he should order some pizza after the time she is assumed to have already been killed.

GazetteLive reports on the latest updates on the trial of this man who was leading a double life.

Several witnesses spoke on the trial that began presenting evidence on Thursday.

Jessica Patel’s uncle, Sharadkumar Patel shared that in 2012 Jessica mentioned to him that their marriage would not be going forward because they were having marital and intimacy issues. Mitesh would come home from work and go into another room to speak to another man, a doctor who lived in Australia.

The prosecution shared with jurors:

You will, however, hear that by the beginning of 2012, Mitesh Patel had met the man of his dreams.

The evidence shows that this relationship was not only passionate but that the two were in it with a view to spending the longest possible time together.

By February of that year, 2012, Mitesh Patel was to tell this man that he was the one for whom he had been waiting for nine years.

By the end of April just four months after they’d met, they were planning a life together in Australia.

It was also presented that from 2013-2018 Mitesh had searched the following phrases online:

  • “I need to kill my wife”
  • “insulin overdose”
  • “plot to kill my wife, why do I need co-conspirators”
  • “life after loss of spouse”,
  • “finding your way after losing a spouse”,
  • “coping with the death of your spouse”,
  • “The death of spouse, rebuilding your life after the first year”
  • “how do I arrange a funeral”
  • how much methadone will kill you

According to court reporting, Jessica had shared with her sister Divya that Mitesh had been violent toward her by putting his hands around her neck and sharing that he sometimes hurt her.

A pharmacy employee also shared that Patel would bring men into the pharmacy’s back door and lead him into the back to have sex. There is also footage of Mitesh kissing and cuddling with other men in the pharmacy. Men that his wife and the employee knew he was meeting on Grindr.

The Teesside Crown Court was presented with a series of text messages demonstrating the couple’s dealings with IVF. In a text message conversation on July 26, 2017 they discussed:

Mitesh Patel said:

Listen to me. If you still don’t want to do it, just say. We can stop, cancel and go our own ways. I’m being honest with you. I’ve done nothing wrong. I can’t carry on like this.

Jessica Patel:

Just think, you’re not being honest with me.


Well that’s up to you. I’m not going through this every day. If we do the IVF I don’t want there to be any cracks in us. The way we behave with each other, that’ll affect our child.


Those texts and images tell me a different story to what you’re saying. I did say you’ll be forgiven. I want to be a mother and always have felt that since I got married. To have my own little family was my dream. I think it would be right to cancel for now.


I think you’re mad. You can forgive me but I won’t forgive you for this.

Earlier in 2018 the couple vacationed in India where Mitesh Patel paid for a male prostitute. He also began looking for properties in Sydney while his wife continued IVF treatment.

The prosecution also presented several other pieces of evidence that Mitesh was engaging in sexual relations with other men in the home he shared with his wife. The prosecution said, however, that Mitesh asserts they had no secrets and does admit to meeting a ‘handful’ of men on Grindr.

The trial over the death of Jessica Patel continues, but this evidence is very clear.

h/t: GazetteLive

After Cheating on His Wife With Other Men on Grindr, Man is Prime Suspect in Her Murder

On May14th, 34-year-old Jessica Patel was found dead in her home of Middlesbrough, England. Her husband, 37-year-old Mitesh Patel is accused of her murder. Patel and his wife were pharmacists who ran a business together according to GazetteLive. Patel denies murdering his wife, but it is known that he had cheated on her numerous times with men who he had met on the gay hookup app Grindr.

In order to get a fair trial, High Court judge Mr. Justice James Goss QC was careful to inform potential jurors that anyone who was familiar with Grindr would not be allowed to serve as a juror.

He shared with jurors at the Teesside Crown Court:

It is agreed that during the course of the marriage, the defendant Mitesh Patel had been unfaithful to his wife, including having met men for sexual intercourse.

Some of them he met using a social networking site called Grindr.

In a moment the names of witnesses and others to whom reference may be made during the trial will be read out to you.

If you know any of them and believe that that knowledge of them is sufficient to compromise your objectivity as you consider the evidence, you should indicate that in a note that you write to me.

It is agreed between the prosecution and defence and approved by me that in order to seek to ensure your objectivity as potential jurors in this case, if you have frequented the Roman Road pharmacy in Linthorpe over the last seven years, or you have used the Grindr app at any time over the same period, that’s in the last seven years, you should be excused from sitting in this case.

If you entertain any doubt about any names you’ve heard, put that in a note as well.

There’s no rush. This is important. So think about it all.

The trial began on November 13th with a jury of six men and six women and two additional women as ‘surplus jurors’.

The trial will continue with opening arguments by Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC and is expected to go until December 7th. It is likely that Mitesh Patel will plead not guilty.

This story is developing as the trial continues.

h/t: GazetteLive


Samuel Woodward Pleads Not Guilty To Blaze Bernstein Murder

We have another update on the story involving the University of Pennsylvania student who was found murdered and buried near his California home.

21-year-old Samuel Woodward pleaded not guilty during an Orange County Superior Court hearing on Friday for the first-degree murder of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein.

Earlier, Woodward’s bail was set at $5 million, but Judge Kimberly Menninger altered it so Woodward is now being held without bail on the grounds that he’s a potential danger to the community if released, according to 6 ABC.

Woodward is currently on trial for allegedly stabbing and killing Bernstein while he was home for winter break in January.

Bernstein, who was gay and Jewish, went missing and his corpse was later found in a park in Lake Forest, California.

A police investigation later found out that Woodward and Bernstein, who went to the same high school, met up the night of Bernstein’s disappearance. At some point, a fight broke out and Woodward allegedly stabbed Bernstein 20 times in the face and neck.

DNA evidence has connected Woodward to the crime and his cellphone was found to have anti-gay and anti-Semitic content. On top of that, the authorities have collected propaganda found in Woodward’s home for a neo-Nazi group.

Woodward, is due to return to court on January 25, 2019.  If convicted of the hate crime, he could be sentenced to a life in prison.

For more on this, visit CBS News and 48 Hours

Here are clips about people remembering Blaze and the 48 Hours report In The Name of Hate: Blaze Bernstein murder: Was an Ivy League student slain in the name of hate?





h/t: 6 ABC, CBS News

Trans Woman Found Dead in Florida in Potential Hate Crime

Trigger Warning: Murder, Hate Crime

On the morning of September 8th, the body of Londonn Moore was discovered near a bus stop in Florida on Sawyer Circle in an undeveloped part of Port Charlotte.

After discovering her body, police determined that her death was suspicious and began a search for her car. Her vehicle, a Chrysler 200, was discovered in another part of Port Charlotte. It is unclear where she was murdered.

The police have not classified the case as a hate crime.

Nathan Bruemmeer, the Executive director of ALSO YOUTH in Sarasota said:

“I think it is too early to say if it’s a hate crime, but I think what is important to recognize is that the state of Florida is leading the nation in violence against transgender population, specifically in trans woman and trans women of color.” -ABC affiliate

North Port Police Department officer, Joshua Taylor, said:

“Whether it’s a hate crime or not, you’re going to pay that price.” -NBC, Florida

The story is significant because although the police have not declared it a hate crime, many people feel that this is part of a larger pattern. Hal Trejo of All Rainbow and Allied Youth Inc. said:

“This would mark the 21st person in the nation since the start of the year that a transgender person has been murdered. It’s the fifth person in Florida alone this year, so we see it’s a huge crisis and needs to be addressed and talked about.”

The news media and police have also continued to misgender and “deadname” the victim in coverage in spite of calls from friends and local leaders. Her name was Londonn Moore.

Police are still seeking information.

h/t: ABC Affiliate Florida, NBC Florida

Accused Of Murder, California Man Denies Incident Was A Hate Crime

A 21-year-old man from Newport Beach accused of killing a former classmate could face life in prison without parole after prosecutors added a hate crime enhancement to murder charges.

Samuel Woodward is accused of murder in the stabbing death of his former high school classmate Blaze Bernstein.

Bernstein was reported missing by his parents in January while he was visiting home during the winter break at the University of Pennsylvania. His body was eventually found in a shallow grave in Borrego Park with over 20 stab wounds.

DNA evidence found in Woodward’s car and Borrego Park led to his arrest.

At the time the hate crime component was added to existing murder charges, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told CBS News that a search of Woodward’s social media and cellphone data revealed “graphic” and “chilling” photos and text messages.

Rackauckas said the material, which was "homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and anti-government" showed Woodward's "dark side."

CBS News also reports that Woodward has been linked to white supremacist group.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Woodward denied the hate crime enhancement during a court appearance on Wednesday even though he admits it was a kiss that sparked the altercation.

According to an affidavit, Woodward told investigators that Bernstein kissed him while they were sitting in a parked car Jan. 2. Woodward told authorities the kiss was unwanted and that he pushed Bernstein away.

After Wednesday’s court appearance, Woodward’s attorney, Edward Munoz, said his client has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder that can hinder a person’s ability to socialize or communicate.

Munoz said that “there’s going to be some evidence that comes out to say he’s very confused” about both his sexual identity and “his own identity.”