Texas lesbian couple tragedy deemed a non-hate crime in court

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New information in the case involving the death of Mollie Olgin, 19, and the serious injury of her girlfriend Kristene Chapa, 18, has been released. Olgin and Chapa of Portland, TX were allegedly held at gunpoint and directed to a grassy area of Violet Andrews Park in Portland in June of 2012. This location would be where Mollie would take her last breath and Kristene would receive near fatal injuries, leaving her fighting for her life.

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When we first heard of this crime against two of our own, we knew that both Olgin and Chapa had been shot, which resulted in the death of Olgin. As updates have been released surrounding this case, we have learned that both Olgin and Chapa were also raped. David Michael Strickland of Helotes, TX has been charged with capital murder, aggravated assault with a weapon, and aggravated sexual assault.

In what appears to be a bizarre attempt to cover his tracks, Portland police believe Strickland’s wife Laura (who has now been charged with tampering with evidence), wrote a letter implicating a former roommate of Strickland’s in the crime against Olgin and Chapa. The letter was written from the perspective of a hit man hired by Strickland’s former roommate, who later provided documents proving that he was stationed in California with the military at the time of the shootings. Investigators have since tied the letter, which details the horrific crime, to David and Laura Strickland.

A group of Chapa’s supporters held a rally on Friday, November 14th, during Strickland’s hearing – demonstrating that many members of the community have remained faithful to Kristene and Mollie – while some locals cling to the fact that Strickland is “innocent until proven guilty.” A key piece to this case is the fact that an eyewitness to these crimes is alive and presumably well enough to confirm or deny Strickland’s involvement. To say that the last two years of Chapa’s life have been quite difficult would most likely be an understatement. It is possible that the trauma she experienced has hindered her from sharing details of that day. Chapa has been in rehabilitation for injuries sustained during the attack; we may assume she is not yet fit to share her perspective. Here’s hoping justice will be served – for the physical injuries and emotional trauma sustained by Kristene and for the murder of Mollie.

As one would imagine Kristene’s medical bills have proven to be quite costly. A GoFundMe account has been set up for those who wish to contribute. You can also show your support via social media using the hastag #justice4krisandmollie. Please consider doing so, in whatever capacity, in solidarity with Mollie and Kristene.

Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyAMcGaughy and Instagram @emilymcg618.

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