Activist state

Roommate charged in Florida gay rights activist’s death

The roommate of a Florida gay rights activist is accused of strangling him and dumping his body in a rural Florida landfill, officials said.

Steven Yinger, 37, who has a long criminal history, was indicted by a grand jury in Leon County last week. Yinger was being held without bail Tuesday at Leon County Jail on multiple counts, including the first-degree murder death of Jorge Diaz-Johnston.

Yinger was living with Diaz-Johnston, 54, at the time of the murder, prosecutors said. Diaz-Johnston was the brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and the uncle of former University of Miami football coach Manny Diaz II.

In October, Yinger was released from prison and he moved in with Diaz-Johnston, who was known for helping recovering people, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. He was also an advocate in the legal fight for marriage equality.

Diaz-Johnston was last seen alive on January 3 and reported missing on January 7, according to police and court records. His body was found Jan. 8 at a Jackson County landfill near Tallahassee.

Yinger was arrested Jan. 13 in Leon County on unrelated charges.

“I appreciate the hard work of the grand jury, and we will work hard to get justice for him and his family,” Leon County District Attorney Jack Campbell said last week.

The Leon County Public Defender’s Office, which represents Yinger, did not respond to an email regarding the case.

Diaz-Johnston and Don Johnston sued Miami-Dade County Clerk for the right to marry and won in 2015. They had separated before Diaz-Johnson died.