Milwaukee, WI – The Democratic National Convention on Thursday night featured a “criminal justice activist” who was convicted of murdering a New York businessman found stuffed into a steamer trunk in Harlem.
Donna Hylton, who was known as inmate #86G0206 for 27 years at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, was given the platform at the Milwaukee convention on Aug. 21 despite the fact she is a convicted murderer, FOX News reported.
Hylton was asked to participate in the video reading of the Preamble to the Constitution by people whom the Democratic Party called “America’s most impactful community leaders,” according to a column in the Boston Herald.
This particular “impactful community leader” is a former prostitute who took part in the drugging, rape, torture, and murder of a 62-year-old gay New York businessman named Thomas Vigliarolo in Harlem when she was 19 years old.
A man named Louis Miranda hired Hylton and six of her friends to kidnap Vigliarolo, whom he said had stolen $139,000 in a joint swindle they’d done together, FOX News reported.
The group of kidnappers consisted of four women and three men.
Prosecutors said Hylton and her cohorts took Vigliarolo prisoner and held him for 15 days, FOX News reported.
Hylton and her friends starved, burned, beat, sexually assaulted, and raped the businessman.
Prosecutors said Vigliarolo died of “asphyxiation and the deprivations of his imprisonment,” according to FOX News.
Hylton was caught by police after she delivered a ransom note and a witness captured a partial license plate number on her car.
Vigliarolo was later found dead, stuffed into a steamer trunk in Harlem.
She wasn’t actually present when Vigliarolo died, FOX News reported.
Hylton claimed at trial that Miranda had threatened to kill her four year old if she didn’t participate in the crime, but the jury didn’t believe her.
She was convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree kidnapping in 1985, and sentenced to 25 years in prison, FOX News reported.
The convicted murderer got her college degree in prison and then became a minister before she was paroled in 2011.
After she got out of prison, Hylton wrote a book about her life and became an outspoken advocate for prison reform, FOX News reported.
“So incredibly honored and humble to have been asked to participate in the Preamble of the Constitution for the DNC tonight. With deep thought, I accepted this opportunity to represent the millions of Americans who have been left out and shut out,” Hylton tweeted late on Thursday night.
Social media exploded with Americans wanting to know why the DNC was rallying behind a convicted rapist and murderer.
“Forgot to mention how you raped and killed a 62 year old gay man,” @polemistis777 tweeted in reply.
Forgot to mention how you raped and killed a 62 year old gay man.
— Alítheia (@polemistis777) August 19, 2020
One of the DNC speakers was @DonnaHylton, who, at 21, committed an unspeakably gruesome crime: over 15 days she was part of a group that kidnapped, raped, starved and tortured, then killed, a man for ransom.
Her speech & life are noble testaments to the ability to rehabilitate. pic.twitter.com/cPAcn4tkuV
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 21, 2020
Some were critical of the fact that mainstream media largely ignored Hylton’s presence on the Democratic National Convention’s virtual stage.
Why didn’t the media report that Donna Hylton spoke at the DNC?
She is a convicted murderer who kidnapped, raped, and tortured her victim before killing him
They defund the police and prop people like her up as an example of “activism”
You won’t be safe in Democrats’ America.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 21, 2020
“As a 19-year-old survivor of human trafficking and sexual violence who was coerced into a horrible situation, I was powerless to stop what happened to him,” Hylton defended her participating in the murder of Vigliarolo to FOX News in a statement on Friday. “Yet, despite being innocent I was convicted and incarcerated for 27 years.”
“What happened to Mr. Vigliarolo should not ever happen to anyone and I have spent my life since then fighting on the side of truth and justice for myself and countless others caught in the cycle of perpetual violence and victimization.”