Gay tech CEO charged for the third time in 1992 murder case
Author: John Russell
Readytech’s president and CEO John Kevin Woodward has been arrested and charged with the 1992 murder of 25-year-old Laurie Houts. This is the third time Woodward has faced charges in connection to the death of Houts, having been tried for the crime twice already in the late 1990s. Both times, a jury failed to convict the 58-year-old.
Woodward was arrested July 9 at JFK airport after returning from the Netherlands, where he has lived since his second trial ended in a judge dismissing the case due to insufficient evidence in 1996. He will be returned to Santa Clara County and arraigned.
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According to a release from the Santa Clara district attorney’s office, Houts was found dead in her vehicle in 1992. The rope used to strangle her was still around her neck and there was evidence of a struggle.
The DA alleges that Woodward had developed an unrequited romantic attachment to Houts’s boyfriend, Woodward’s then roommate, and was “openly jealous” of her. Woodward’s fingerprints were found on the outside of Houts’s car, but investigators were unable to show that he was inside the vehicle.
In 2021, the Santa Clara County Crime Lab and Mountain View Police Department detectives were able to link Woodward to the rope found around Houts’s neck. District attorney Jeff Rosen said that DNA testing found Woodward’s skin cells on the rope.
Woodward’s lawyer told The New York Times that his client is “anxious to get to the California courts to answer these charges, which he adamantly denies.”
Houts’s family is hopeful that justice will be served. “We are happy to have a chance at some measure of justice,” her older sister Suzi said. “We’ve waited patiently for 30 years.”
“She has not been here for 30 years, and we miss her all over again,” younger sister Cindy said. “Also, we have been through two trials, so we know how hard it is going to be to go through the trial. And we hope that this one has a good outcome.”
Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: John Russell