Juan Antonio Martinez Matos, the man arrested two days ago for the gruesome murder and subsequent decapitation, dismemberment, and burning of 19-year-old Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado’s body is claiming he killed Mercado in a fit of rage after Mercado invited him into his house for a hook-up. Posting on CNN’s iReport website, Chris Pagans reports that Matos claims he thought his victim was a female prostitute.

He said that he did not know that it was really a man and they went to his apartment in Cidra, where Steven allegedly told him to have anal sex with him, which provoked anger in him and caused him to murder him. He also said that Steven tried to stab him, and that he armed himself with a kitchen knife and under a fit of rage he injured him, dismembered him, decapitated him and then later took his remains to Guavate where he was left. Other allegations of the killer is that in 2003 he was arrested for domestic abuse and that in his youth he was molested and that is why he hates homosexuals. The authorities said that this case has been advanced and successful due to the cooperation of the local GLBT community. The [FBI] agent Angel Rodriguez said that he is being interrogated and will be charged with first degree murder. He also indicated that he will submit another request to the federal judge to have this treated as a hate crime. At the suspect’s home the police found 2 knives to commit the murder, and that they were then thrown in a septic tank.

Towleroad has video (in Spanish) of the suspect on his “perp walk”.

Elsewhere…

D.C. – The Small Business Administration is denying speculation that it made the decision to close the Washington Blade, the Southern Voice, and the other LGBT papers owned by Windows Media. LGBT POV reports that offers were on the table from multiple buyers, including an openly-gay DC-area newspaper publisher who thought he had a deal to buy some of Windows’ media properties. According to a former Blade editor, the SBA claims that Windows Media made the decision themselves. SoVo and the Blade were two of the oldest LGBT newspapers in the country. Former Blade staffers have launched an effort to resurrect the paper, and are taking offers of help and donations here. (Gay City News, LGBT POV, OutQ News)

D.C. – The ENDA hearing originally scheduled for today was postponed because of the lawyers. So says Kerry Eleveld of the Advocate, quoting a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign saying lawyers for the House Committee on Labor and Education wanted more time to tweak the bill before a markup hearing. (The Advocate)

Florida – The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Community Center of Central Florida was hit by vandals last night, who sprayed the Orlando center with a swastika and slogans like “Die Fags.” (WKMG)

Arizona – Calling it an issue of “equal pay for equal work,” Lambda Legal has filed suit against the state of Arizona to block an attempt by the new (Republican) governor to strip domestic partner benefits from same-sex state employees. Governor Jan Brewer made the cuts as part of a last-minute budget deal. (via PHB)

NYC – A study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice says homosexuality is not a predictor of abuse among Catholic priests. Speaking before the US College of Bishops, a representative of John Jay College urged the church not to link sexual orientation and sexual abuse. (Associated Press, via Towleroad)

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