Gamaliel Mireles Coria

Gamaliel Mireles Coria was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of Lauryn Paige Fuller in 1999.

The man who brutally stabbed to death an Austin cross-dressing gay teen pleaded guilty and received a 40-year prison sentence in a plea agreement reached last week.

Gamaliel Coria, 29, pleaded guilty to the early 1999 murder of 18-year-old Donald Scott Fuller. Fuller’s mother characterized Fuller as a tormented teen who felt most comfortable when dressed as a woman. The 40-year sentence was good enough, said Judy Shipway, the assistant district attorney who handled the case.

“The family and I would have preferred to see Coria get life in the penitentiary, but this is something we are satisfied with-maybe not completely happy, though,” she said.

“Over the weekend, the defense offered to take responsibility for the murder in exchange for a 40-year sentence,” Shipway said. “I talked with the family and we decided that would be an appropriate thing.” Shipway said the case was ready to go a jury trial on Monday, but the plea agreement was reached before jury selection began.

Coria will not be eligible to be considered for parole for 20 years. Since Coria’s right to appeal was waived in the agreement, the family can reach closure on the death more quickly than if the case went through a trial and possible appeal, Shipway said.

Along South Congress Avenue in Austin, an area police say is known for prostitution, Fuller used the name Lauryn Paige. Coria eventually stabbed Fuller several times in the head and torso, police said. Coria cut a gash 9 inches long and 3 inches wide in Fuller’s throat and stabbed him a number of other times before he dumped the teen in a wooded area near a Southeast Austin business complex, according to court documents. The body, still dressed in women’s clothing, was covered with tree branches and leaves.

News Report.