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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The roommate of a Florida gay rights activist is accused of strangling him and dumping his body in a rural Florida landfill, officials said.
Steven Yinger, 37, who has an extensive criminal history, was indicted by a grand jury in Leon County last week. Yinger was being held without bond Tuesday in the Leon County Jail on multiple charges including first-degree murder in the death of Jorge Diaz-Johnston.
Yinger was rooming with Diaz-Johnston, 54, at the time of the killing, prosecutors said. Diaz-Johnston was the brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and the uncle of former University of Miami football coach Manny Diaz II.
In October, Yinger was released from prison, and he moved in with Diaz-Johnston, who was known to help people in recovery, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. He was also an advocate in the legal fight for marriage equality.
Diaz-Johnston was last seen alive Jan. 3, and reported missing Jan. 7, police and court records show. His body was found Jan. 8 at a landfill in Jackson County, which is near Tallahassee.
Yinger was arrested Jan. 13 in Leon County on unrelated charges.
“I do appreciate the hard work of the grand jury, and we’re going to work hard to get justice for him and his family,” Leon County State Attorney Jack Campbell said last week.
The Leon County Public Defender’s Office, which is representing Yinger, did not respond to an email about the case.
Diaz-Johnston and Don Johnston sued the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts for the right to marry and won in 2015. They had separated before Diaz-Johnson’s death.