Hate crime expenses would require proving that the shooter was motivated by bias, equivalent to towards the victims’ precise or perceived sexual orientation or gender id. The fees towards Aldrich are preliminary, and prosecutors haven’t but filed formal expenses.
Protection attorneys mentioned late Tuesday that the suspect is nonbinary and in court docket filings referred to the suspect as “Mx. Aldrich.” The attorneys’ footnotes assert that Aldrich is nonbinary and makes use of they/them pronouns.
Prosecutor Michael Allen repeatedly referred to the suspect as “he” throughout a press briefing after the listening to and mentioned the suspect’s gender standing wouldn’t change something in regards to the case in his opinion. Allen mentioned Aldrich was “bodily competent” to face expenses.
Ankeny set the subsequent listening to for Dec. 6.
Aldrich’s identify was modified greater than six years in the past as an adolescent, after submitting a authorized petition in Texas searching for to “shield himself” from a father with a legal historical past together with home violence towards Aldrich’s mom.
Aldrich was often known as Nicholas Franklin Brink till 2016. Weeks earlier than turning 16, Aldrich efficiently petitioned a Texas court docket for a reputation change, court docket data present. A petition for the identify change was submitted on Brink’s behalf by his authorized guardians on the time.
“Minor needs to guard himself and his future from any connections to delivery father and his legal historical past. Father has had no contact with minor for a number of years,” mentioned the petition filed in Bexar County, Texas.
The suspect’s father, Aaron Brink, is a blended martial arts fighter and pornography performer with an in depth legal historical past, together with convictions for battery towards the alleged shooter’s mom, Laura Voepel, each earlier than and after the suspect was born, state and federal court docket data present. A 2002 misdemeanor battery conviction in California resulted in a protecting order that originally barred Aaron Brink from contacting the suspect or Voepel besides by an lawyer, however was later modified to permit monitored visits with the kid.
Aaron Brink advised the San Diego CBS affiliate, KFMB-TV, that he was shocked to study Aldrich’s alleged involvement. He mentioned his first response was to query why Aldrich was at a homosexual bar. Brink mentioned he hadn’t had a lot contact together with his little one however had taught them to struggle, “praising” Aldrich for violent habits at an early age. He added that he’s sorry he let Aldrich down. Brink mentioned “there’s no excuse for going and killing folks. In the event you’re killing folks, there’s one thing unsuitable. It’s not the reply.”
One of many suspect’s grandfathers is Randy Voepel, an outgoing lawmaker within the California state Meeting. The suspect’s mom, Laura Voepel, recognized Randy Voepel as her father on her Fb web page in a 2020 publish about his time within the state Legislature.
Voepel, a Republican, had a blended voting report on LGBTQ payments. He in contrast the Jan. sixth assault on the U.S. Capitol to the Revolutionary Warfare, calling it the “first photographs fired towards tyranny.” In response to criticism, he later mentioned he didn’t “condone or assist the violence and lawlessness that happened.”
Randy Voepel didn’t return cellphone calls searching for remark. It’s unclear how shut he was with the suspect.
Aldrich’s request for a reputation change got here months after Aldrich was apparently focused by on-line bullying. An internet site posting from June 2015 that attacked a teen named Nick Brink suggests they could have been bullied in highschool. The publish included images just like ones of the capturing suspect and ridiculed Brink over their weight, lack of cash and what it mentioned was an curiosity in Chinese language cartoons.
Moreover, a YouTube account was opened in Brink’s identify that included an animation titled “Asian gay will get molested.”
The identify change and bullying have been first reported by The Washington Publish.