Trans activist will finally stand trial for 2016 murder of lesbians and their son next week

A transgender rights advocate is finally on trial next week for the murder of a lesbian couple and their 19-year-old son in 2016 after campaigning against a lesbian festival that the victims attended and banned trans guests.

Dana Rivers, 67, was charged with shooting Charlotte Reed, 56, and her wife Patricia Wright, 57, and their son Benny Diambu-Wright, 19, in Oakland in November 2016. Rivers knew her victims, according to investigators.

The trial of the suspect has taken years due to delays in the doctor’s report that will assess whether the 67-year-old alleged murderer is mentally capable of standing trial.

Experts have also looked into the mental health of the alleged killer teacher at the time of the murders. Women’s rights campaigner Kara Dansky has shared updates on her case website.

Rivers was caught on November 11, 2016 by police on the run from the family’s Oakland home, located on the 9400 block of Dunbar Drive, while drenched in blood and carrying brass knuckles, ammunition and knives.

Police arrived at the house after receiving reports of gunshots after midnight and found Diambu-Wright shot dead in front of the house, which had been set on fire.

The former teacher, who became a transgender rights activist in 1999 after being fired from Center High School for speaking openly to students about her transition to a woman, was arrested on the spot and detained in the Alameda County Jail.

COVID-19 restrictions in prisons also slowed the progress of the doctor’s report.

Police never shared a motive for the murders, but Rivers was part of a group called Camp Trans. Its members campaigned against MichFest, an annual women-only festival held in Michigan until 2015.

MichFest refused to admit trans women, much to the anger of some LGBT activists, including Rivers. She and others stole MichFest in an attempt to express their anger, and Rivers may have met her victims during that protest.

MichFest ended in 2015 amid ongoing controversy over the transgender exclusion, though it continues. Reed and Wright were both regularly in attendance, although prosecutors have not yet identified an explicit motive for the triple murder.

Dana Rivers, 67, will finally appear in court on Monday after allegedly murdering a couple and their son at their California home on November 11, 2016.

Patricia Wright (left), her wife Charlotte Reed (right) were stabbed and shot multiple times in their Oakland home. Their son Benny Diambu-Wright, 19, was also found shot dead in front of the house

Wright was a half-retired teacher at Esperanza Elementary School and had been married for over a year to Reed, a US Air Force veteran and businesswoman.

Reed and Wright adopted Diambu-Wright from Africa together, but Wright also had a separate son. He was not injured in the triple murder.

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That son, Khari Campbell-Wright, previously said Rivers was an acquaintance. In a 2016 interview with the East Bay Times, he suggested it was a random act of violence.

‘My mother played no part in it. My brother had no part in it. Wrong place, wrong time,’ said Campbell-Wright.

The married couple is pictured on Facebook riding a motorcycle after being hooked up. River tried to escape the night of the murders on the same motorcycle.

Wright, left, and Rivers, right, knew their killer. A motive has not been disclosed, but they attended a lesbian festival where trans women were banned – much to Rivers’ anger

Wright and Reed share two other children together. Their son Diambu-Wright, who was also killed, was from Africa

Rivers is formally known as David Warfield. She was fired from her job at Center High School in Antelope after the transition

Rivers is a US Navy veteran and former award-winning teacher when her name was David Warfield in the 1990s.

The veteran informed Center High School in Antelope of her plans to have surgery to change her gender and was granted leave before being fired.

Rivers gained media attention in 1999 after her termination and the launch of a lawsuit against the school that reached a $150,000 settlement.

The alleged murder was briefly in the spotlight, appearing on several television programs, including the Today show.

Now Rivers will once again be in the spotlight as her three-day trial begins on October 17.

She denies murder and has been in jail without bail since the double murder.


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