Teen confesses to murdering gay teacher

Posted on 07 Jan 2009 at 9:26am
By Oskar Garcia Associated Press

17-year-old says he and his brother strangled 32-year-old after teacher ‘got sexual’ with him

HENDERSON, Nev. — A 17-year-old who told police that he and his brother strangled a high school choir teacher said the teacher made him uncomfortable with sexual advances the night the teens killed him, according to an arrest report.

The juvenile and his 18-year-old brother were being held Dec. 30 in the Dec. 21 slaying of Matthew Cox, 32, who taught at Basic High School in Henderson. Cox had family in western Michigan.

The youth told police that he and his brother were at Cox’s home in Henderson, with his brother downstairs playing video games while he was upstairs with Cox.

The 17-year-old told investigators that while upstairs Cox "started to get sexual with him," making him uncomfortable.

The youth said in the report that he and his brother strangled Cox in his Volkswagen Beetle after Cox drove the boys home.

The boys then bound Cox, put his body in the back of the car and drove back to his home, where they stole electronics, including a Wii video game system, an iPod and a laptop, the report said.

The boy told police that he kissed the teacher on the cheek before leaving his body. He said he did not mean to hurt Cox, only to rob him.

The 17-year-old and his brother were arrested Dec. 23 on suspicion of murder and robbery.

The Associated Press previously named the boy and his brother but later removed their names because the arrest report raises the possibility the youth had been sexually abused and the AP does not typically identify such victims.

Cox was found dead on a couch with a blanket over his head in his home Dec. 22 by a friend who had gone to check on his pets. The report said Cox was supposed to be in Hopkins, Mich., visiting family during his school’s winter break.

Hopkins is about 25 miles south-southwest of Grand Rapids.

The police report indicates Cox had a close relationship with a student at the time of his death, although the nature of the relationship is unclear.

A friend of Cox, 27-year-old Jamie Quashnock, told police that Cox has "been in a relationship with one of his students" who had admitted to Cox that he was gay. The student’s name was redacted from the report.

Quashnock told investigators that Cox said he would have pursued a relationship with the student if he were not his teacher.

Caralee Beynor, a co-worker of the 17-year-old at a doughnut restaurant, told police that the boy confessed to her that he killed his teacher the day after the slaying, the report said.

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