By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com June 21 2014 3:03 PM ET
Two years after 18-year-old Mary Chapa and her 19-year-old girlfriend Mollie Olgin were shot in Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas, killing Olgin and seriously injuring Chapa, police have finally arrested the man they say did it.
The alleged murderer, David Malcom Strickland, 27, was taken into custody near Helotes, Texas, by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force yesterday, according to KSAT.com. The group had been asked by the Texas Rangers to help locate and arrest Strickland. Police have not said when Strickland was identified as the alleged killer in the June 2012 crime.
John Wright of Lone Star Q reports that Strickland faces charges of capital murder, aggravated assault with a weapon and aggravated sexual assault in connection with the crime. Wright says that the sexual assault charge is the first indication since the attack that at least one of the women was also raped.
After allegedly assaulting and shooting the young women, Strickland left them dying in a grassy area of the park, but was spotted by another couple while leaving the area.
“I am thrilled that the collaborative efforts of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, Texas Rangers, and Portland Police Department resulted in Strickland’s arrest. He’s a stone cold killer who thought he got away with murder, but will finally pay for his crime," Robert R. Almonte, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas, told KSAT. "My sympathies and condolences go to the victims and their families who had to endure this wicked act of violence.”
Although LGBT organizations have urged local police to look into whether the murder was an anti-lesbian hate crime, police have continued to say there is no evidence that the crime was motivated by the women's sexual orientations.