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Crime

Trial begins for man accused of murdering a trans woman 5 years ago

Meka Beresford August 10, 2017
Deoni Jones

(Photo by Deoni Jones/Facebook)

The trial of a man accused of murdering a trans woman has finally begun five years after the crime was committed.

Deoni JaParker Jones was sat at a bus stop when she was stabbed in the head by a stranger in 2012.

Gary Montgomery was arrested two weeks following the horrific attack.

He was shortly charged with first-degree murder, but his trial has only just begun.

CCTV caught footage of 60-year-old Montgomery walking up to the victim and staring “intently” at her.

“He kept staring at her and she kept ignoring him, looking at her phone instead,” Attalah Gabriel told the court. “She was visibly uncomfortable.”

41-year-old Jermaine Jackson also testified at the first hearing.

He told the jury that he was with a friend when he saw a man appear to strike someone, and when they went to check what had happened they found Jones with the knife in her head.

The delay in the case comes after legal debates over the defendant’s mental health.

He was diagnosed with schizophrenia following his arrest and in the time between then and the trial he has been held at St. Elizabeth’s, a pyschiatric hospital.

However, late last year the judge ruled that his health had greatly improved and so he was able to stand trial.

Speaking to the Washington Blade, Jones’ step father, Alvin Bethea, said that the family were distraught that it had taken so long to get to trial.

“It should not have taken five and a half years to get to a trial.

“This is not just painful to my wife and me but also to the LGBT community whose members only want to be able to live their lives without danger,” he added.

Judean Jones, the victim’s mother, said: “He sat on the bus bench and stared at my daughter. Stared in her face.

“He knew she was transgender. And that’s why he killed her.”

More: Crime, LGBT, murder, Trans, Transgender, US

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