Aaron Vargas has a point – but he’s also got nine years.
Normally this would be commendable except for one problem I have with the case – their relationship extended into Vargas’s adult years. Not only that but their relationship was broken off four years ago. Vargas is 32. This means he was 28 when he started saying no, and in North Carolina, the age of consent is 16. This means Vargas has maintained a sexual relationship with Darrell McNeill for over 12 years. The papers don’t say at what age the abuse allegedly started, but 12 years is a long, long time for not only McNeill to keep the relationship a secret from his wife but this also gave Vargas over a decade to say no. More on the point Vargas could have gathered evidence and basically ruined this guys life if he really did have a sexual relationship with him for over 12 years.
Just to comment on the firearms, or why it’s significant he’s using black powder – Vargas apparently has an unspecified criminal record. Any weapon he possessed was probably illegal. Probably being the operative word here, without knowing if it was a jaywalking record or what I don’t know. Black powder arms can be bought freely mail order. He was simply looking for something which would likely work once. This lends some sincerity to his story that he felt he had been wronged and he’s not murderous towards the general population, but I strongly disagree with the judges assessment that he wanted the other man to suffer. At the end of the day a firearm is a firearm and they kill really quickly on the grand scheme of ways to die. Were there an actual intent to cause harm before death, where’s the knives? The waterboarding? The gasolene and road flares?
While I think his case is more complicated than a 12 year old boy bringing a rifle around and smoking his molester, I also disagree with the judges assessment than anything more than simple murder took place.