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A man has been indicted on murder charges in the fatal shooting of a homeless transgender woman in the Bronx.
Marquis Tanner, 30, allegedly shot 24-year-old Alexandria Winchester on a basketball court behind the Twin Parks West development on East 183rd Street, in the city’s Fordham Heights neighborhood, on Dec. 26.
Tanner, who was arrested on Dec. 29, was indicted on charges of murder, manslaughter, and criminal possession of a weapon. He currently remains held without bail.
Police and prosecutors claim that Tanner shot Winchester in the neck. The killing was caught on video, and Tanner later admitted to police that he killed her because the two had fought over money, according to Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.
“We are working hard to bring justice to victims, and this indictment shows wrongdoers will be held accountable at the end of the day,” Clark said in a statement. Our focus is on ending gun violence in the Bronx.”
Tanner previously served four years in prison for a 2011 robbery conviction, and was sentenced to one year and four months to three years after being convicted of attempted robbery in 2017. He was released on parole in March 2018, reports the New York Daily News.
He is next scheduled to appear in court on Mar. 29 on an unrelated charge, before appearing again on April 29 in relation to charges stemming from Winchester’s murder, according to court records.
Winchester, a client of the Ali Forney Center, which provides support to homeless LGBTQ youth, is believed to have been the 44th transgender person in the United States to be murdered in 2020, although the number may be higher to due infrequent reporting and misgendering of victims by police, the news media, and even surviving family members. The Forney Center held a vigil in her honor last month.
“For us, her murder just punctuates how disposable some people feel trans lives are. There’s just no regard for a trans life,” Alexander Roque, the center’s executive director, told the Daily News. “It’s really a painful reminder of how close the young people we provide services are to death, the end of their lives, and how much work we have to do to protect them.”
The Human Rights Campaign, which tracks deaths of transgender and nonbinary individuals, mourned Winchester’s death shortly after hearing news of her slaying, and Tanner’s arrest, early last month.
“Alexandria mattered to her community and to the world,” Lindsey Clark, the associate director of its HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a statement. “Last year was the deadliest year for fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people that we have ever tracked. This is unacceptable. We must all come together and work to bring this violence to an end.”
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