Guilty plea in Araujo case
Plus, the Associated Press learns how to use pronouns.
As anyone who's been reading this blog for a while knows, I've had a lot to say about the brutal hate crime slaying of young transgender woman Gwen Araujo (see cartoon, "No Respect for the Dead", and various reader responses). But since legal proceedings began recently there have been a lot of new developments. For one, one of the defendents is actually pleading guilty. From the AP ("Guilty plea in Calif. transgender slaying"):
One of four defendants in the October slaying of a transgender teen pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Monday and agreed to testify against his friends.But there's another development, significant in it's own way--even though they're still calling her "Eddie," the press is USING THE RIGHT PRONOUNS. Check it out:
Jaron Chase Nabors, 19, will get 11 years in prison in the slaying of Eddie "Gwen" Araujo under the agreement reached with prosecutors. He had faced a murder charge. His plea came during a preliminary hearing into whether Nabors and the other three should stand trial.
Jose Antonio Merel, 23, Michael William Magidson, 22, and Jason Michael Cazares, 22, still are charged with murder in the beating and strangulation of Araujo at Merel's house in suburban Newark.
About two weeks after the slaying, police say, Nabors led them to the body in a shallow grave in the Sierra foothills about 150 miles east of Newark.
Araujo was found buried -- wrists and ankles bound -- in the miniskirt she was last seen wearing while going by the name "Lida."Sigh... happy birthday, Gwen. It's not much, and it won't bring you back to life, and they're still putting your name in quote marks, but it's... something.
Prosecutors say the 17-year-old Araujo was killed after Nabors and his three friends found out for sure that the person they knew as "Lida" was biologically male.
Witnesses told police Araujo was beaten, dragged half-conscious into a garage and strangled with a rope, according to court documents...The plea came on what would have been Araujo's 18th birthday.
According to the affidavit, another young woman at the party, Nicole Brown, had discovered Araujo's secret after taking her into a bathroom to determine her gender.The AP's newly sensitive use of pronouns didn't come out of nowhere, of course--it was the result of the hard work and effort of trans educators and advocates in the wake of the original awful coverage of Araujo's death. (See my January post "Araujo Case Prompts Media Outlets to Revise Stylebooks")
After Brown announced Araujo was biologically male, police said, Merel allegedly knocked Araujo to the floor and Nabors and Magidson joined in.