Florida LGBTQ activist’s roommate charged with strangling, dumping him in landfill
The roommate of a prominent Florida LGBTQ activist has been charged with strangling him to death before dumping his corpse in a landfill.
Steven Yinger, 37, was indicted by a grand jury Friday in the death of Jorge Diaz-Johnston, the brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Leon County prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Monday that Yinger was living with Diaz-Johnston at the time of his disappearance in January. The two men knew each other from a stint in alcohol rehab according to Local News 10.
Diaz-Johnston, who helped usher in the legalization of gay marriage in Florida, was later found in a trash pile in Baker, Florida in January.
The activist was separated from his husband, Don, at the time of his murder.
“To now be a part of this and have our marriage end this way is something I just never saw coming and still frankly can’t accept,” the grieving spouse told NBC Miami.
Prosecutors said Yinger throttled the victim to death before discarding him in a public garbage collection site near their Tallahassee residence.
The body was later transferred to a separate landfill where it was discovered.
Diaz-Johnston was a key plaintiff in a historic 2014 lawsuit challenging Florida’s then ban on gay marriage. His brother served as mayor of Miami from 2001 to 2009.
In addition to first-degree murder, Yinger faces theft and and other raps for driving Diaz-Johnston’s BMW and spending his cash, according to an indictment.
Yinger, who is being held without bail in Leon County, had prior convictions for a range of crimes, including cocaine distribution and theft.