Man found guilty of murdering gay Atlanta activist

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A man accused of raping, stabbing and choking to death a metro Atlanta LGBT activist was found guilty on all 12 counts Monday by a DeKalb County jury.

Donte Lamar Wyatt was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, rape, aggravated sodomy, three counts of aggravated assault, home invasion, first degree burglary, false imprisonment, theft by taking and criminal trespass in the April 13, 2015 killing of Catherine Han Montoya.

Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson sentenced Wyatt to four life sentences plus 41 years in prison, according to the DeKalb District Attorney's Office.

In 2015, Wyatt's burst of violence started when he allegedly attacked his estranged wife outside a Waffle House in Henry County. Wyatt fled and ended up on Shadowridge Drive, where he knocked on Montoya's door. When she answered, he burst inside and raped, stabbed and strangled her, police said. He left her partially clothed body in a pool of blood, police said.

He was later captured after an hours-long standoff at another house. 

Wyatt is also charged with attacking his cellmate in the DeKalb County Jail after he was arrested. He allegedly strangled Jah'Corey Tyson on July 4, 2015 and removed his eyeballs. He pleaded not guilty to charges related to the jailhouse murder in September 2015. 

The trial opened Oct. 24. On Wednesday, Montoya's wife – who was three months pregnant at the time of the murder – delivered emotional testimony about discovering the killing.

Friends and former co-workers have praised Montoya as “a vibrant champion for social justice.” Montoya worked as a senior field manager for the Leadership on Civil & Human Rights and the leadership Conference Education Fund from 2008-2012. She described herself as a “Queer Chicana Korean Feminist (and Broncos fan).”

UPDATE | District Attorney Robert James said Wyatt will spend the rest of his life in prison. 

“This was a horrific, unspeakable crime, and he deserves nothing less than to spend the rest of his life in prison,” James said in a prepared statement. “Everyone should expect to be safe, especially in their own homes. What this man did was violate that sanctity for two DeKalb residents. We want to assure them that he will never, ever be able to do this to anyone else.”


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