Man who allegedly gouged transgender teen’s genitals before killing her faces death penalty
A man accused of repeatedly gouging a transgender teenager’s genitals and eyes before burning her corpse is facing the death penalty.
Ally Steinfeld, a 17-year-old from Texas County, Missouri, was killed last year in a monstrous attack.
Andrew Vrba, 18, attempted to poison Ally, but when she wouldn’t drink the mixture he gave her, he told the court that he stabbed her in the living room of a friend’s home.
The defendant told police that he had bragged about the killing, recounting to friends in detail how he gouged out Ally’s eyes and stabbed her genitals.
Vrba is charged with first-degree murder, abandonment of a corpse and armed criminal action, for which prosecutors are calling for the death penalty.
Vrba was allegedly joined in the horrific killing by three accomplices, including Briana Calderas, 24, who started dating Ally around a week before her death, according to the victim’s mother, Amber Steinfeld.
“She was excited, talking about her and Briana meeting [the family],” Amber told The Kansas City Star. “She was happy.”
Investigators have ruled that the killing of Ally, who came out as trans on social media four months before her death, was not a hate crime.
Isis Schauer, 18, has already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse, and has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
Calderas is awaiting trial for first-degree murder.
James Grigsby, 25, has pleaded not guilty to abandonment of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence.
Vrba told police that when Ally was dead, Calderas and Schauer went to a Walmart to buy items to burn her body.
They then helped him to wrap Ally’s body, take it outside and set it on fire, according to his account.
After they burned her body, they allegedly put the bones in a garbage bag and hid it in a chicken coop near Vrba’s home.
Police records show that Steinfeld’s mobile phone and a knife were recovered from the scene.
Amber Steinfeld has called her daughter’s murder “pure hatred and pure evil.”
Speaking to press, she added: “All I can remember is laying down — I miss cuddling with her, at that age when she would cuddle with me.”
More from PinkNews
A GoFundMe page which was set up for Ally’s family raised more than $11,000 to pay for the funeral expenses.
A total of 28 trans people were killed in the US in 2017, the highest number on record.
Since March 31 last year, at least 190 trans people have been murdered worldwide.
This number, though it was arrived at with help from the Trans Murder Monitoring Project and the Transgender Day of Remembrance, is a conservative estimate.