Metro Weekly

Germantown man arrested in slaying of transgender woman

Rico Hector Leblond faces first-degree murder charge in killing of 21-year-old Zella Ziona

Rico Hector Leblond (Photo: Montgomery County Police).
Rico Hector Leblond (Photo: Montgomery County Police).

The man accused of shooting a transgender woman multiple times in a service alley behind the Montgomery Village shopping center in Gaithersburg has been held without bond and scheduled for a preliminary hearing as he faces a charge of first-degree murder. 

According to a press release from the Montgomery County Police Department, officers arrested 20-year-old Rico Hector Leblond, of Germantown, on Friday and charged him with first-degree murder for the shooting of 21-year-old transgender woman Zella Ziona. According to police investigators, Ziona and Leblond knew each other and had some degree of friendship or familiarity prior to the incident. Witnesses on scene told police that the two had an altercation before Leblond allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Ziona. 

Ziona was later transported to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner later ruled her death a homicide caused by multiple gunshot wounds. 

Leblond was scheduled to appear in court on Monday, but his lawyer waived a hearing to discuss his bond status. According to Montgomery County District Court records, Leblond remains in custody without bond pending further action. He has been scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13 in Rockville District Court.

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