A transgender woman was stabbed to death by a man whom had left a gay club with him, the St Petersburg Times reports.

Lucas McCauley, 30, frequented a well known gay and transgender club dressed as a woman named Reshae.

The murder was being considered as a possible hate crime. On Monday, killer William McHenry, 27 was sentenced to life imprisonment, bringing relief to those who were involved with the case.

Ms McCauley’s mother, found her child dead the next night in the living room of her apartment, which was next door to her home.

McHenry, who at the time was living with a 55-year-old female companion, was arrested and charged with murder within days of the slaying. After a four-day trial that started earlier this month, jurors found McHenry guilty.

The murder sparked fear in the gay and transgender community. Shortly after the crime, Equality Florida, a gay advocacy organization, held a vigil for McCauley.

“With this particular case being brought to justice, it is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Brian Winfield, communications director for Equality Florida, to the St Petersburg Times . “It’s good to see that at least in some cases, justice is served.”