Varela's Death Labeled a Hate Crime

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PHOENIX -- After numerous pleas from the family of a Phoenix resident who was murdered, authorities earlier this week agreed to treat  it as a hate crime, reports La Voz.

The Maricopa County Attorney's office announced Thursday that it  would file aggravated charges against Gary Thomas Kelly, charged with the murder of Juan Varela.

Varela’s family held a press conference to comment on the new charges. Since the incident not many of them had spoken to the media directly, but had called for the crime to be labeled a hate crime.

“We were watching TV when my husband stepped out. Not even 5 minutes went by when I heard the gunshot. I run and saw my mother-in-law pointing to the ground were Juan was laying, I ran to him, I felt I couldn’t do anything,” said Maria, Varela’s wife, during a press conference.

Carlos Galindo, a spokesperson for the family, told La Voz that the new charges were brought in light of more evidence.

“Clearly what happened in front of the house on May 6, reflects a huge problem with racial crimes that exists in all the United States. We can’t allow for more crimes to be committed in the hands of violent
people because of the color of their skin,” he said.