Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gay Lover Accused of Murder Was a 'Desperate Man,' says Attorney

Shannon Kari writes:
(Toronto, Canada) A prominent member of the gay community in Toronto was killed by his partner of more than 10 years because their relationship was over and he was afraid of losing his lavish lifestyle, the prosecution argued Tuesday. Ivan Mendez-Romero, 38, was a "desperate man" when he suffocated Janko Naglic (pictured) inside their lavish midtown Toronto home on Oct. 27, 2004, said Crown attorney Ann Morgan in her opening address to the jury at the first-degree murder trial.

The "rags to riches" story for the Cuban immigrant was about to end, suggested the prosecutor. "Mr. Mendez-Romero was now out of the home, no job, no home, no money." Naglic was a well-known businessman who had operated bars in Toronto's gay village for nearly three decades. For many years he ran a popular gay bar called The Barn, known for hosting nude dances and "underwear parties" for its patrons. Naglic's body was found inside his home, face down on steps near the front door. He had duct tape wrapped tightly around his mouth, nose and the back of his neck. One of his wrists also was bound. The two men met in Cuba and the Crown told the jury Mendez-Romero was able to "escape a life of poverty" when he became the partner of the "wealthy" Naglic, who was 20 years older. Mendez-Romero moved into Naglic's home, was employed in his bar and spent time at his Florida condo and on his yacht, the jury heard. MORE