For the first-degree murder of Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, brother of former Miami mayor Manny Diaz, a Florida jury found 36-year-old Steven Yinger guilty.
Diaz-Johnston disappeared on January 3. His body was discovered in a heap of refuse at a Baker, Florida, dump about one week after his abduction. Yinger is accused in the indictment of killing Diaz-Johnston before he moved his corpse and stole his iPhone and BMW. At this time, Yinger remains in custody without bail.
The murder allegedly occurred after a rift between the roommates, which had developed when Yinger had let a buddy who was addicted to meth stay at their apartment for an extended period.
According to court records, Yinger provided conflicting accounts concerning Jorge’s location immediately before his death.
Diaz-Johnston, who played a crucial role in Florida’s 2015 legalization of homosexual marriage, was discovered in the trash a few days later. The medical examiner found that he had been strangled to death, and the prosecution said that they thought Yinger had disposed of his corpse in a public landfill near their residence.
Yinger proceeded to provide contradictory accounts of Diaz-Johnston’s abduction to others close to him. The victim’s corpse was carried in a bin by Yinger, according to Assistant State Attorney Adrian Mood, who accused Yinger of treating Diaz-Johnston “like a piece of trash.”
On the other hand, Yinger’s lawyer said that the prosecution had only presented circumstantial evidence as police had failed to discover Yinger’s DNA at the site of the murder.
Don Diaz-Johnston, 51, and Diaz-Johnston were wed in March 2015. In 2014, after being refused the opportunity to be married, they were one of five same-sex couples who sued the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office.
After Diaz-Johnston’s murder, Ward said, Yinger lied to police and acted oddly, but it wasn’t because he was guilty; it was because he was addicted to drugs.