Texas trans teen murder case: second suspect pleads guilty
One of the people charged in connection with the murder of a transgender teenager in southwest Missouri has pleaded guilty.
James Thomas Grigsby, 25, pleaded guilty to the abandonment of a corpse, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Grigsby was accused of helping three others dispose of the body of 17-year-old Ally Steinfeld. Her body was found in September of last year in a chicken coop.
Ally was reportedly stabbed several times and her eyes were gouged out, before her body was set on fire.
Ozarksfirst.com reports that Andrew Vrba and Briana Calderas are awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges, with Vrba due to be in court on July 23 and Calderas due in February of next year.
Another one of the young people charged, Isis Schauer, pleaded guilty to second degree murder in December. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in the teen’s death.
The latest guilty plea means that half of those who are alleged to have been involved in Ally’s murder have now pleaded guilty.
The murder of Ally Steinfeld sent shockwaves through the LGBT+ community in the US last year when the gruesome details of her death emerged.
Steinfeld became the 21st transgender person to be killed in the US last year, however authorities investigating the murder insisted that it was not a hate crime.
Sheriff James Sigman and prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr. said Ally’s violent murder was not motivated by her gender identity.
“I would say murder in the first-degree is all that matters,” Stevens said.
Before her death, Steinfeld spoke openly on 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 last year.
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Prosecutors are calling for the death penalty for Vrba, who has been charged with first degree murder, abandonment of a corpse and armed criminal action.
Vrba allegedly attempted to poison Ally, but when she wouldn’t drink the mixture he gave her, he stabbed her.
The defendant reportedly bragged about the killing, and even recounted to friends about how he had gouged Ally’s eyes out and stabbed her genitals.