‘Gay panic’ floated in murder of HS music teacher
High school music teacher Matthew Cox didn’t make it home to Michigan for Christmas. Instead, he was allegedly murdered by one of his own students. On December 20, the 32-year-old Cox picked up Basic High School student Juan Aguirre and his brother Jose Delatorre and took them back to his house in Henderson.
The brothers told police in the report that they played video games with Cox. Before leaving, however, they say Cox went upstairs with Juan. Juan says that while they were alone, his teacher became sexual with him and made him feel uncomfortable.
OK, now here is where the garbage defense unravels; the thugs choke Cox for 10 minutes, until he stops moving, and tie up his hands and feet. Do the the sexually terrorized young men call 911? Do they run to their home and ask for help? No.
Jose drove them back to Cox’s house, where the two teens stole his electronics. The brothers left Cox’s dead body on his couch and Juan says he kissed his teacher’s cheek before they left. The teens say they didn’t mean to hurt him, they just wanted to rob Cox. Juan also told police that their mother helped them to hide Cox’s car at a local casino.
As I mentioned above, gay panic worked in a case in Grand Rapids, Michigan in April; Steve Scarborough was charged with felony murder and faced mandatory life in prison without parole for the murder of Victor Manious. Mind you, Scarborough admitted in a taped confession that after an alleged sexual advance by Manious, Scarborough hit Manious with a bat, stuffed him in a car trunk, then went on a four-day binge, using the dead man’s cell phone and credit cards for shopping sprees, gas and air fare to Texas.
What was the verdict? Voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. The jury was aware that Scarborough had a previous criminal record, but obviously believed that he was a victim of an assault by Manious and the victim must have had it coming to him.
Let’s hope this kind of defense can be put to bed in 2009. I won’t hold my breath.