Gruesome murder of transgender 17-year-old ‘not a hate crime’
Last week the burned remains of the body of Ally Lee Steinfeld, a transgender teenager from Missouri, were found in a bag in a chicken coop.
Details emerged of her horrific torture and murder, including that she was stabbed multiple times, her eyes gouged out and her genitals mutilated.
However authorities investigating the crime have dismissed the possibility that it was a hate crime.
Sheriff James Sigman and prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr. say the violence was not motivated by Steinfeld’s gender identity.
“I would say murder in the first-degree is all that matters,” Stevens said.
However LGBT advocates demand Steinfeld’s gender identity is considered as a factor in the murder.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Steinfeld is the 21st known case of a transgender person being murdered in the United States this year.
“This violence, often motivated by hatred, must come to an end,” Chris Sgro, a spokesperson for the HRC, said.
“We will continue to mourn Ally and fight back against transphobia and anti-trans violence.”
24-year-old Brian Calderas, who lived with Steinfeld, as well as 18-year-olds, Andrew Vrba and Isis Schauer are being charged with first degree murder.
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James T. Grigsby, a fourth suspect, has been charged with evidence tampering and abandonment of a corpse.
Steinfeld had spoken on her social media about being pansexual and a transgender woman.
“I am proud to be me I am proud to be trans I am beautiful I don’t care what people think,” she said in one post earlier this year.
The HRC has pointed out that much of the media coverage of the murder has misgendered her or used her dead name, with one outlet saying she “sometimes identified as female on social media.”