On Sunday, we told you about the horrific murder of Stephen Sylvester (above), an 18-year-old Austin resident who was allegedly beaten to death by his 20-year-old boyfriend.
Since then, new details have emerged in the case, including that Sylvester’s boyfriend, Bryan Canchola (right), was extremely intoxicated and angry that Sylvester had apparently cheated on him.
Also, Canchola allegedly continued to attack Sylvester even after he was bleeding profusely from the head and as their roommate was leaving with him for the hospital. And after Sylvester left the hospital without seeing a doctor and returned to the apartment, Canchola reportedly cleaned Sylvester’s body and changed his own clothes. Canchola even attempted to choke Sylvester’s Yorkshire Terrier during their fight.
The New York Daily News reports:
“I can’t imagine why somebody would try to hurt him or his dog,” Sylvester’s ex-boyfriend, Taylor Shirley, told the Daily News.
Sylvester and Canchola had not been dating long before Friday’s fatal assault, Shirley said.
“Stephen was a very big hearted and trusting person and so whenever he met people, he trusted them way too easily and I think this was just one of those things. He trusted the wrong person and it cost him his life,” Shirley added.
The report does not indicate how Sylvester checked in at the hospital, and a Seton Healthcare Family spokesman said Sunday he did not have any information about the incident.
It is also not clear from the police report how Sylvester left or whether hospital employees attempted to stop him. …
An autopsy showed that Sylvester had injuries common with strangulation, including a broken bone in his neck, and found he died from head trauma.
He made his way through life with more jazz and spunk than all of his sisters combined. His love for animals was undeniable as well as his will to help anyone and everyone. His love for life in general was greater than most.
“Most people talk about domestic violence from the heterosexual, man-beating-a-woman lens, and it’s really hard for a lot of people to think of men as victims in general, or to think of women as being capable of abusing, so I think that’s why the mainstream media usually doesn’t talk about the issue, and often the police or people who intervene don’t even know that what’s happening is domestic violence.
“Even in the LGBT community, for a while when marriage equality was trying to be passed, people didn’t want to talk about domestic violence, because the community largely was trying to just pretend they’re the same as straight people — ‘We just want to get married and be normal people’ — so that’s kind of prevented a lot of discussion around violence in same-sex relationships.”
If you or someone you know is the victim of same-sex domestic violence, contact the project’s hotline at 1-800-832-1901.