John M. Becker

Suspected Shooter of TX Lesbian Teen Couple Arrested

Filed By John M. Becker | June 23, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: couples, hate crimes, lesbians, murder, Portland TX, teens, Texas

david-strickland.jpgTwo years after a teenage lesbian couple was shot in a public park in Portland, Texas -- leaving one dead and the other seriously injured -- authorities have finally arrested a suspect in the attack. NBC News reports:

David Malcolm Strickland, 27, was arrested Friday by U.S. Marshals and Texas Rangers in the San Antonio suburb of Helotes, local media reported. U.S. Marshals, Texas Rangers and the police officers from Portland, where the attack occurred, detained Strickland and his wife, Laura Kimberly, 23.

He is facing charges of capital murder, aggravated assault with a weapon and aggravated sexual assault in the June 23, 2012, attack on Mollie Olgin, 19, who died in the shooting in Portland on the Corpus Christi Bay. Olgin's girlfriend, Kristene Chapa, then 18, survived. His wife faces charges of tampering with evidence.

"I hope that it gives them some closure knowing that this person is taken off the street," Portland Police Chief Gary Giles said of the victims' families and the community. "It is one day before the two-year anniversary. We've been working very hard to make sure we get him as soon as possible. A series of fortunate events has led us to this point and I'm just very happy that we could help in -- at least at this point -- in bringing him to justice."

"He's a stone cold killer who thought he got away with murder, but will finally pay for his crime," said Robert R. Almonte, United States Marshal for the Western District of Texas. "My sympathies and condolences go to the victims and their families who had to endure this wicked act of violence."

Authorities allege that Strickland forced the two women down behind a hill in Portland's Violet Andrews Park, tied them up, and shot them both in the head. They were found the next morning by a couple who was out bird-watching.

Portland police chief Gary Giles says that this remains an active investigation and that many questions that remain unanswered, but adds, "we're confident that we do have our person."

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