Gwen Araujo's Murderers Convicted.

The long awaited and controversial verdicts in Gwen Araujo's second murder trial were issued on Monday September 12, 2005. Michael Magidson and Jose Merel were found guilty of Second Degree Murder for their role in seventeen year old Gwen Araujo's death in 2003. Charges against Jason Cazares resulted in a hung jury for the second time. A fourth defendant, Jaron Nabors, testified against the other three in exchange for a guilty plea to reduced charges of manslaughter. Some transgender activists were disappointed that the murder was not held to be a hate crime and by the hung jury on Cazares charges. Many in the community found hope and relief in the convictions.

"This trial has been a milestone in the struggle of transgender citizens for social justice." said Denise Leclair, Executive Director of the International Foundation for Gender Education. "For once, a transgender life was not discounted. For once, the death of a transgender person caused outrage. For once, the nation cried with us."

Prosecutors will announce whether they will seek a third trial for Cazares on November 18. There has been no announcement yet of a sentencing date.