2 men convicted in 2017 killing of gay couple in Portland

(CNN) — Two men convicted in the 2017 fatal shooting of a gay couple in Portland, Oregon, have been found guilty of murder and hate crimes.

Alejandro Andrade, 27, and Marvin Rodriguez, 34, will face a federal hate crime charge in a courtroom set to begin Thursday, Assistant US Attorney Joan Luckart told CNN after the verdict was read.

The jury found the two guilty of murder, aggravated murder, attempted murder and intimidation in the May 17, 2017, murders of Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23.

Andrade was also found guilty of intimidation in the shooting of Taliesin Dhanak, 21, a witness to the couple’s attack.

The shooting came amid a series of deadly attacks targeting minorities.

It was the third hate crime trial in Portland this year, a justice department spokesman said.

“Today’s verdict is another important step in healing for the Portland community and sending a strong message to members of the community that we will not tolerate this kind of hate,” Andrew Ames said.

The defense had argued the two men were looking for a fight and kicked the men before shooting them.

In their closing argument Tuesday, they said the two roommates had been given a gun by another man to scare them out of using the bathroom.

“There was just a lot of emotion that night, not all of it was accidental,” defense attorney Keiran O’Brien said.


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