Texas man charged over gay killing

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Dallas police have charged a man with the killing of a gay man on October 11, one of seven unsolved gay killings in the Dallas area police are continuing to investigate.

Ray Martinez, 31, was charged with capital murder in the beating death of Craig Ceson, 46. Ceson’s body was found in his apartment near Love Field. An autopsy showed he died from head injuries.

There was no sign of a break-in and police said that Ceason’s car had been stolen. The vehicle was later found in Fort Worth. At the time Martinez was charged he was already in jail on theft charges.

Police say at this point there is nothing to indicate Martinez is connected to any of the other six gay homicides over the past five years, but investigators are continuing to probe the possibility.

The possibility of a link was first suggested by the LGBT newspaper The Dallas Voice and Dallas City Council member Ed Oakley.

The most recent victim, 28-year-old Samuel Jarnigan Lea, was a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. His body was discovered Oct. 31 inside his apartment near the campus. Police say that it appears he knew his killer and invited him to his apartment, but there are few clues in the case. Like Ceason’s case, Lea’s car is missing.

Police believe they may have a suspect in Lea’s killing but no hard evidence. He also may be involved in at least one of the other killings, that of Lawrence Wheat, who served on the Dallas Plan Commission. Wheat was found dead in his Dallas loft in June, 2004.