Man sentenced to 12 years for death of transgender woman in L.A.

Meka Beresford December 3, 2016
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A man from Los Angeles has been sentenced to 12 years and 8 months after being convicted for voluntary manslaughter and arson which killed his partner, a transgender woman.

Courts hear that Yasmin Vash Payne was stabbed several times by her partner who then set their apartment on fire to cover up his act.


Payne was attacked by her boyfriend, Ezekiel Jamal Dear, on the evening of January 31st 2015. Dear set the apartment on fire and left but the next day, he confessed to police that he had killed her.

Dear initially faced a charge of murder but was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and arson in the ruling on Thursday.

It is unclear why the jury opted to lessen the charge, although the Los Angeles Daily News reported the stabbing took place “during a dispute.”

Payne, 33, was the third transgender woman of colour to be killed in 2015. The recorded number was 21, making it a deadly record at the time.

2016 has since become the deadliest year on record for transgender murders with 26 people’s murders being recorded so far.

However, the number could be skewed as many trans people are often misgendered in autopsy reports.

Activists took to the streets after Payne’s death to protest against violence targeting transgender people.

Last month was transgender month of remembrance and awareness. Thousands of people attended vigils across the world to remember those lost to violence because of their gender identity.

Last year, $20 million was pumped into transgender charities internationally to help battle gender discrimination.

Global philanthropic group the Arcus Foundation announced the five-year initiative focused on improving the lives of transgender people worldwide.

Arcus contributed $15 million to the fund, with a $1 million contribution from the NoVo Foundation and $4 million from other foundations.

The fund focussed on aiding trans charities across the US and world, to “ensure that all transgender people live in a world where they are recognised, valued, and supported by their families and in society”.

Related topics: America, Equality, LGBT, Trans, trans woman, Transgender, US, US, violence, woman

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