A musician and artist who moved from Texas to Portland, Ore. and drove cab for a decade without a single customer complaint was knifed to death by a tiara-wearing transgender activist passenger on Easter Sunday.
Reports from the Oregonian newspaper avoid noting that the assailant, Moses J. Lopez, is a transgender activist with a history of violent threats.
But Post Millennial, a conservative news website, published an account from investigative writer Andy Ngo, who detailed some of the suspect’s known offenses. Ngo noted that police also avoided identifying the suspect by pronouns or gender identity.
Six days before the murder of driver Reese Lawhon, Lopez was arrested and charged with felonies for using a knife to threaten a shopper at a Bi-Mart in nearby Hillsboro, Washington County. Lopez, 30, was released without bail and headed to Portland.
Just before the Hillsboro arrest, Lopez had been charged with two felony counts of unlawful use of weapon and two counts of menacing in Coos County. Lopez was released from that jurisdiction as well. He missed his court hearing on April 6, and a warrant was issued for his arrest — three days before he allegedly murdered Lawhon.
According to Ngo’s source who saw the cab’s security video, Lopez entered the cab while wearing a tiara and women’s clothing. Lopez gave an address to Lawhon and several minutes into the ride, Lopez suddenly plunged a blade deep into the neck of the unsuspecting driver.
Lopez also uses the alias Mosse Lopez.
The Oregonian has another account:
“Around 6:40 p.m. on Easter Sunday, American Medical Response employees in an ambulance traveling on Southeast Water Avenue near Southeast Washington Street spotted a person exiting a Radio Cab with bloody clothes, according to a probable cause affidavit.
“They saw the person, later identified as Moses J. Lopez, drop what appeared to be brass-style knuckles with an attached blade, the affidavit said. Medical personnel treated the suspect for a hand injury, and later found Lawhon dead inside the Radio Cab with two stab wounds in his neck, according to the court document.
“Portland police arrived shortly after. An onboard camera recorded the attack.
“Video footage showed that Lawhon picked up a fare around 6 p.m. outside Voodoo Doughnut at 22 S.W. Third Ave. The passenger asked to be taken to Southeast Third Avenue and Washington Street, and then gave a different location when they arrived. When Lawhon went to put in the new address, he was attacked.
“Lopez was detained, and pleaded not guilty to unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree murder charges Monday.
Second-degree murder indicates that the district attorney does not believe the murder was premeditated. Legally, first-degree murder is premeditated while second-degree murder means it was intentional, but unplanned.
The victim, who was a well-known musician in the Portland music scene, drove for Radio Cab for over a decade, and “never had a customer complaint,” according to Radio Cab spokesperson Darin Campbell. Lawhon was also an accomplished artist.
The official police public notice about this event is at this link, with no reference to the gender of the suspect. In other Portland police accounts, they specify the gender of the suspects.