US: Gay student accused of beating boyfriend to death after night of drinking

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A 20-year-old gay man from Texas has been arrested after allegedly beating his teenage boyfriend to death after a heated argument.

Bryan Michael Canchola was taken into police custody after his 18-year-old boyfriend Stephen Sylvester died in hospital from injuries he received following a physical fight between the two.

The young couple were both under the influence of alcohol and had been drinking heavily before the incident, reports KVUE.

According to a statement released by police, the pair’s roommate heard the pair drunkenly arguing in the early hours of the morning after a returning home from a night out. He said he heard Canchola screaming at Sylvester, “Why would you cheat on me?”.

The roommate said at around 4:20 a.m. he heard more screaming and thrashing. He said he heard Sylvester scream, “Let go; I’m trying to leave.”

Sylvester’s dog yelped and Sylvester could be heard telling Canchola to “Let the dog go.”

The roommate then started banging on the door and eventually made his way in the room. Canchola became aggressive toward the roommate, who said he noticed blood spattered on the wall of the bedroom.

The friend found Sylvester in the kitchen and saw that he was holding the back of his head. Blood was pouring down the back of Sylvester’s neck and onto his shirt. As the roommate helped Sylvester gather his belongings to go to the hospital, Canchola punched Sylvester on the side of the face, causing him to fall to the ground. Canchola also threw glasses at them as they left.

The roommate managed to get Sylvester to the hospital, however, he left without being treated.

Shortly after, Canchola called the emergency services again, to report that he and Sylvester had been fighting. He said his boyfriend was bleeding badly from the back of the head and was unconscious.

Police arrived at the pair’s apartment at around 5:50 a.m, but Sylvester later died in hospital.

Post mortem results show he suffered bleeding on the brain and a fracture in his neck. He also showed signs of strangulation. Sylvester’s dog also sustained injury indicative of strangulation.

The statement also said that Canchola had blood on his lips, hands and feet when police arrived.

He 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.”