A 20-year-old Texas man has been charged with first degree murder after he beat his teenage boyfriend to death.
Bryan Canchola got into a physical fight with Stephen Sylvester, 18, at the apartment they shared in Austin early Friday (17 July) morning after the young couple returned from a night of drinking.
According to court documents, Sylvester died at hospital from head injuries sustained while trying to protect his dog Harlow from Canchola.
Their roommate told police that he was woken up by the fighting couple at 4:13am.
The roommate said Canchola — who appeared to be extremely intoxicated — punched Sylvester in the face, threw a heavy glass and beer bottles and threatened to kill Sylvester’s dog after accusing him of cheating
The roommate heard ‘banging and violent crashing’ from the room the two men shared as well as Sylvester’s dog yelping in pain.
He said he heard Canchola scream, ‘Why would you cheat on me?’ and Sylvester cry, ‘Let the dog go.’
The roommate forced his way into their room, where he noticed blood spattered on the walls, and drove Sylvester to the local medical centre to seek assistance. But Sylvester returned home before receiving treatment.
Canchola called the police at 5.15am to report he had gotten into a fight with this boyfriend, who was unconscious and bleeding from his head.
An officer at the scene wrote in an affidavit that Canchola had blood on his lips, hands and feet.
He also noted that there was a ‘considerable lack of blood on Sylvester which suggested to him that the body may have been cleaned prior to his arrival.’
Autopsy results found that Sylvester suffered bleeding on the brain and a neck fracture and showed signs of strangulation. Sylvester’s dog also sustained injury indicative of strangulation.
Canchola is in custody with a bond set at $500,000.