20-year-old suspect held without bail in gay Brownsville museum director's murder

Posted on 29 Oct 2009 at 3:36pm

Ernest Ivan Martinez, 20, was ordered held without bail Wednesday in the murder of 59-year-old Brownsville museum director Barry Horn, who was openly gay. Some media outlets have been reporting that Martinez and Horn were lovers until a falling out prior to Horn’s murder, but one of Horn’s associates denies that. Will Everett, who reportedly was Horn’s “right hand man” at the Brownsville Museum of Art, tells The San Antonio Express-News that Martinez had a troubled background and that Horn saw the young man as someone he could mentor:

Everett said he was angry that the killing has been characterized as the result of a love spat.

“The kid was one of many young men that Horn had taken a paternal interest in,” Everett said. “He made it very clear that he did not have any sexual expectations from Ivan. … He was trying to expose him to a better life, help him out a little bit.”

Everett said he was questioned for hours by police who refused to believe the relationship wasn’t sexual. Police spokesman Jimmy Manrrique said he could not comment.

“This is South Texas,” Everett said. “As soon as you say, ‘gay older man, younger man,’ and the younger man is a little on the cute side, the cops just, that’s just it. They don’t see anything else.”

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