Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Guy Who Cared About Amancio.

In Yuma, Arizona, a change of plea has been made in the case of a gay boy, Amancio Corrales Gallardo Jr., who was murdered by an attacker, Ruben Soloria-Valenzuela, and dumped at a water run-off. (He had an onstage persona as "Delila" and was a popular local entertainer. When they found him, he was dressed Delila.)

Amancio's mother is not happy with the 8 year prison sentence with time off for good behavior, and $50,000 to the family of the handsome, friendly female impersonator.

But it wouldn't have even come to this if not for the heroic caring of a perfect stranger, a man named Michael H. Bauman who felt that homophobia was too rampant in this out of the way desert city.

When he read about the killing, he felt that no one was drawing attention to the murder, much less trying to find his killer. So, he personally took responsibility for publicizing the case, learning now to create a website, The Amancio Project, and becoming a liaison between the family and the police.

Amancio's mother speaks very little English. The killer was found because of the work of someone who just cared a great deal, proving that in this Internet age, people can have an effect on things when they just put themselves out there.

Readers of the Bonus Round are encouraged to send notes of support to Amancio and his family through The Amancio Project.

Change of Plea in Corrales Manslaughter Case

Yuma, AZ – In Judge Reeves Courtroom today the mood was somber as the Plea Agreement arrived at between the Defense and Prosecution in the case of The State of Arizona vs. Ruben Soloria-Valenzuela was read aloud. The agreement stipulated Valenzuela plead guilty to Second Degree Manslaughter with aggravated circumstances. Valenzuela will also be required to pay restitution to the family in an amount not to exceed $50,000.00.

Valenzuela will receive a prison term of eight years and nine months. He will be credited for time served since his arrest on May 23, 2007. Under the Arizona Good Behavior Statute he will be required to serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

The "aggravated circumstances" in the plea agreement are: 1. that a deadly weapon was used in the commission of the offense, and 2. Corrales' death caused great emotional harm to his surviving family.

Judge Reeves heard the Change of Plea because Presiding Judge, Judge Gould, was out of town and the agreement will not become official until Judge Gould also accepts the plea of guilty.

Sentencing will take place on August 21, 2008, at 8:30am in Judge Gould's Courtroom. Prior to sentencing, The Victim's Impact Statement will be presented by the family. The family encourages you to attend if possible to support the family.

After the agreement was read, Mrs. Corrales, Amancio's mother, spoke in a passionate voice stating she did not agree with the plea agreement. She broke down in tears during her emotionally charged statement.


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