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Father Kills Daughterís Girlfriend and Her Mother: Is It a Hate Crime?

Father Kills Daughterís Girlfriend and Her Mother: Is It a Hate Crime?

Jose Alfonso Aviles, 45, is in custody and charged with the murder of 24-year-old Norma Hurtado and Hurtado’s 57-year-old mother, Maria.  According to The Austin American-Statesman, the relationship between Aviles’ 18-year-old daughter and Norma was the source of a feud between the two families.  The daughter only turned 18 years old last month.

Aviles arrived at the Hurtado’s home in Austin, Texas on Monday and shot both women while his daughter, not named by authorities, was at the residence.  She found both victims after they had been shot and called 911.

The American-Statesman further reports, “The daughter told police that she and Norma Hurtado had been involved in a lesbian relationship, which her father did not approve of, and that there had been disturbances between Aviles and Norma Hurtado, according to an arrest affidavit.”

Friends of Norma Hurtado report seeing threatening text messages from Aviles, prior to Monday’s shooting. 

Though there was a lot of animosity between both parties because of the lesbian relationship, the Travis County district attorney’s office has yet to classify this as a hate crime.

From the outside looking in, this seems to be a hate crime case.  However, it may prove to be a little more complicated.  In order to be charged as a hate crime, the perpetrator must target the victim based on a bias against a particular social group of which the victim is presumed to be a part.  

In this case, it appears Aviles was motivated by the fact that his daughter was in a relationship with a woman. This could be a valid argument to charge this case as a hate crime.

However, the wild card that gives this case doubt lies in the ages of the two women in the lesbian relationship.  Aviles’ daughter only turned 18 last month, which means she was in this relationship with a 24-year old-woman while still a minor.  It’s possible to argue that if she had been in a relationship with a 24-year-old man, Aviles may have still disapproved.

Ultimately, we will never know whether he would have committed this heinous act if his daughter had been with an older male, but his anger over this particular relationship does seem to make his motive pretty clear.

Whether Aviles murdered the women based solely on his homophobic beliefs or if that was only the catalyst for disliking Norma Hurtado, the fact is, part of the reason he didn’t want his daughter to be with her had to do with his discomfort of having a gay daughter.  

It doesn’t matter that only part of his motive had to do with sexuality, what matters is that it fueled his fire.  If an argument about his daughter’s sexual orientation led to another argument with Hurtado’s family, and that led to another conflict that ultimately drove Aviles to murder, then yes, this was a hate crime.

Until we hold all parties accountable for their violence enacted through hatred, there is no end in sight.  

Being vocal about his dislike of his daughter’s homosexual relationship to the point of threatening Norma Hurtado should be enough to make this a hate crime.  If it is even part of the motive, then it should count.

What do you think?  Should this be tried as a hate crime?

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Kobe Bryant No More Homophobic Than the Average Sportsman?

 

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Photo from Chapendra via flickr

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201 comments

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11:01PM PDT on May 28, 2012

It just seems to me that it doesn't matter if the man is a homophobe. He certainly should get a life sentence with no possibility of parole for killing two people.

11:01PM PDT on May 28, 2012

It just seems to me that it doesn't matter if the man is a homophobe. He certainly should get a life sentence with no possibility of parole for killing two people.

3:47AM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

Obviously the man was motivated by purest love, then...

6:15PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

SICK! This man must be crazy! Oh wait that's his defense.

5:36AM PDT on May 10, 2011

I think the man is a nut. You don't shoot someone over a relationship. You don't shoot their mother. You just don't. Gay, straight, interracial, inter-national - you just don't go to those extremes because YOU feel out of control of your child's choices.

This man deserves to be locked up for the rest of his life. Let's see how he feels about homosexuality when he's behind bars...

12:12AM PDT on May 4, 2011

i believe in Christ - and i believe homophobia is a sin.
Christ never once spoke out against gays - he always spoke out against hate.
not all religious people use religion as a prop for their hate. some of us use it to guide us to do the very best we can.

i can only hope that this man is kept away from his daughter - what he has done to that young woman so far is beyond imagining. i think hearing him try to justify murdering her girl and her girl's mom, would be horrific. he has already scarred her for life, and ended two lives just because he got mad one night. quite the psychotic.
hope they keep him away from the public for life.

4:40PM PDT on May 2, 2011

dewayne you're a HOMPHOBE, and what is sad is that you are clueless as to the fact that your god is not everyone's god. What delusions of grandeur you religious nuts are!

9:05AM PDT on May 1, 2011

Hate crime!

8:46AM PDT on May 1, 2011

I think if you kill someone because you hate them because of their lifestyle, the color of their skin, their religion,etc, then it is a hate crime. James C, those of us "brainwashed" into accepting that people are born this way have been "brainwashed" by a book called the Bible, which "brainwashs" people in a different, more dangerous way, as with this man. It all depends on how you take the words of the Bible, not how often you read it. The way some people continually quote one part, namely Leveticus, Chapter 18, Verse 22, makes me think this must be the only part they have read, because they have missed so much more, about God's love and forgiveness, and all they they seem to find is Hate, Hate, hate! No one in their right mind chooses to be gay no more than they choose to be black or disabled, because they know there is so much hate out there against people who are different. Gay people have as much right to have someone to love and be loved by as straight people, I would have loved to have met a girl, married and had children, but illness prevented that. And because I know what it feels like not to have somone special on your life, I stand for the rights of ALL people to have that and I will NEVER understand why people who love someone of the same sex are so Hated, especially by people who call themeselves Christians.

2:31AM PDT on May 1, 2011

It is sad that this father hated homosexuals so much that he killed the girlfriend and her mother.

When two people love each other, let them be. If we are wrong for it, let God be our judge. It is not in the original 10 commandments to not be gay.

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