Roommate Charged in High-Profile Florida Murder

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, an LGBTQ activist, was murdered earlier this year
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2022 9:28 AM CDT
Roommate Charged in High-Profile Florida Murder
Don Johnston and Jorge Diaz wait to speak to the media and supporters after a court hearing on gay marriage in Miami in July 2014.   (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Police have made an arrest in the murder of a high-profile figure in the LGBTQ community of Florida. Authorities say 36-year-old Steven Yinger strangled 54-year-old Jorge Diaz-Johnston of Tallahassee, whose body was found in a landfill in January, reports the Tallahassee Democrat. Diaz-Johnston was one of the plaintiffs in a 2015 lawsuit that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Miami-Dade County, per People. He was also the brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. Yinger and Diaz-Johnston were roommates, Diaz-Johnston having offered Yinger a place to stay upon his release from prison in October.

The two met in an an alcohol-recovery program, and Diaz-Johnston was known for helping people in recovery, notes the Democrat. His death "sent shock waves throughout Florida," per the Washington Post. Yinger, who has a long criminal record, has been indicted on charges including first-degree murder and moving Diaz-Johnston's body. He is also accused of stealing the victim's BMW—police stopped him while driving it shortly after Diaz-Johnston went missing—and iPhone. Diaz-Johnston had been in the midst of a divorce from his husband, Don, when he was murdered. (More murder charges stories.)

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