In a significant development, two Puerto Rican men, Jordany Rafael Laboy-Garcia and Christian Yamaurie Rivera-Otero, have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the assault of transgender woman Alexa Negrón Luciano in February 2020. This unfortunate incident occurred just hours before Luciano’s murder, sending shockwaves through the LGBTQ+ community.
The Assault and Ongoing Threats
Laboy-Garcia and Rivera-Otero admitted their involvement in the assault, which was deemed a hate crime, as part of a conspiracy to harm Luciano. Anthony Steven Lobos-Ruiz, a third suspect in the case, had previously pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime related to the same attack and has been sentenced to 33 months in prison.
The series of events unfolded after Luciano faced harassment and violent threats following an incident at a McDonald’s in Toa Baja. Despite no evidence supporting the accusations, she became the target of online harassment fueled by transphobic rhetoric. The situation escalated when the assailants encountered Luciano, who was homeless, while driving through Toa Baja and recognized her from social media posts.
A Shocking Turn of Events
Lobos-Ruiz recorded himself verbally harassing Luciano, and the men later returned with a paintball gun, assaulting her with paintballs. Subsequently, they exchanged text messages instructing each other to delete evidence of their harassment and assault. Tragically, within hours of this assault and less than 12 hours after the McDonald’s incident, Luciano was fatally shot. A video of her murder, which police believed to be authentic, circulated on social media.
A Struggle for Justice Continues
Despite these developments, no one has been charged in connection with Luciano’s murder, leaving her family and supporters demanding justice. The FBI has offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the indictment and arrest of those responsible for her murder.
The case of Alexa Negrón Luciano highlights the ongoing challenges faced by transgender individuals and the urgent need for legal protections and societal acceptance. As sentencing hearings for Laboy-Garcia and Rivera-Otero are scheduled for November 10, the LGBTQ+ community continues to advocate for justice and equal rights.