Justice for slain trans teen Brayla Stone inches closer as police arrest and charge 18-year-old with her murder
Police investigating the killing of Black trans teen Brayla Stone charged an 18-year-old with capital murder Thursday (July 8).
Sherwood Police Department took Trevone Miller into custody at the Pulaski County Jail, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
He is charged with capital murder – a charge which carries a possible death sentence in Arkansas – following the death of Brayla Stone.
Hailing from North Little Rock, Arkansas, Stone was a trans girl with a fondness for making her own original music, who was found dead on June 25. She was just 17 years old.
When Miller was 14 he and two other teens, Xavier Porter and Quincy Parks, were charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery. The group ambushed and killed Bryan Allen Thompson.
He was originally to be tried as an adult, but agreed to plead guilty and testify against his friends so he could be prosecuted as a juvenile under the Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction Act, which “allows him to be sent to prison if he is not deemed to be rehabilitated by the time he turns 21,” according to a 2016 Democrat-Gazette report.
In the end, he did not need to testify and was conditionally paroled. Miller was picked up on a warrant relating to this case, Planet Transgender reported.
Brayla Stone detectives yet to establish motive.
According to a volley of local media reports that have slothfully misgendered Stone, Sherwood Police Department patrol officers responded to calls at 2:55pm about a vehicle parked off of Gap Creek Drive.
The car was discovered across a walking path in the Sherwood neighbourhood, police said, with her body inside.
Detectives remain unsure whether transphobia was a motive in the killing. A department spokesperson said in an email seen by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that “at this time we do not have any indication or evidence”.
Pulaski County coroner officials refused a request for a report on Stone. The office cited the ongoing investigation and noted the report will be released once integrations are completed.
‘I’m just going to remember [her] by the loving, kindhearted person [she] was.’
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For as much as LGBT+ activists have secured a roster of rights in recent years, Black trans women are killed with such harrowing frequency that the American Medical Association has declared it an epidemic.
As a result, many community leaders have sought to amplify one another in applying pressure to simply call a slain trans Black woman by her name. The cries of activists to simply call a trans person by their name were mired by Stone’s own family, who, according to a Facebook crowdfunder, did not support her transition.
Loved ones remembered Stone as a generous person, although, their reverence was punctured by using Stone’s wrong pronouns.
“I’m just going to remember [her] by the loving, kindhearted person [she] was,” Stone’s cousin Rikeya Holmes, 17.
Audrey Jackson, Stone’s 19-year-old cousin, recalled: “Everything [she] had, [she] split with me, and I wouldn’t even have to ask [her].”
Nevertheless, around 100 local residents took to a vigil held in Stone’s honour. Mourners packed a Little Rock church and unfurled a trans Pride flag alongside a plaque that read, simply: “Black Trans Lives Matter”.