Dana Rivers: Trans activist, 67, faces trial for killing family of 3 and setting their home on fire

Dana Rivers: Trans activist, 67, faces trial for killing family of 3 and setting their home on fire
Dana Rivers fatally shot and killed three people in 2016 (ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: A former California teacher who killed three people in their East Oakland home six years ago will be on trial next Monday, October 17. Dana Rivers, 67, fatally shot and stabbed Patricia Wright, 57, and her wife Charlotte Reed, 56, as well as Wright's 19-year-old son Benny Diambu-Wright. Rivers then allegedly set the family's home on fire in order to destroy evidence, police say. She is currently in custody without bond and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

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On November 11, 2016, police received a report about gunshots being fired at the victims' home just after midnight, according to Los Angeles Times. Rivers was found covered in blood when police arrived at the scene and was carrying knives, ammunition, and brass knuckles, claimed Officer Hector Jiminez. Wright and Reed were found dead inside their house with gunshot wounds and stab marks on their body, while Diambu-Wright's body was found near the front of the house. He was also shot to death. 

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Jiminez said he apprehended Rivers, who then allegedly "began to make spontaneous statements about her involvement in the murders." She has been charged with three counts of murder, possession of a firearm, possession of brass knuckles, and arson. She will face life in prison if convicted.

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Rivers became a national advocate for transgender rights in 1999 after she was fired from her teaching position at Center High School in Antelope, California, outside Sacramento. Rivers alleged at that time that she was fired for discussing her transition with her teenage students.

After repeated appearances on 'Today' and 'Good Morning America' and months of legal battles, Rivers accepted a $150,000 settlement. Rivers knew the victims quite well but the reason for the murder is not yet released by the authorities. 

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In a similar incident, MEAWW previously reported that a Houston tenant evicted from an apartment due to non-payment of rent shot five of his neighbors - killing three of them - after setting their homes on fire to lure them out of the apartment complex they shared early Sunday morning, August 28. The officers fatally shot the gunman after he opened fire on responding officers. The incident occurred around 1 am in a mixed industrial-residential area of southwest Houston. According to police Chief Troy Finner, police and fire crews responded to the apartment after reports of a fire. As the other tenants came out of their house, the gunman opened fire, possibly with a shotgun, according to Finner. Two died at the scene, and one died later at a hospital. Firefighters rescued two more injured men, who were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, he said.

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