Alleged killer of a trans woman Zoe Spears has been charged

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A Baltimore man has been charged with the murder of a transgender woman of color who was shot to death outside of Washington D.C. on June 13. Gerardo Thomas was arrested and charged with first degree murder on July 19th. He told police that he was in the area and armed on the night of her death, though police do not believe that the victim’s gender identity was a motive for the crime. The defendant did not mention whether he even knew that Spears had been trans as he was giving testimony. Spears’ friends have told how the 23-year-old was terrified of being murdered after her friend and neighbor Ashanti Carmon, also a black trans woman, had been murdered a few months before. Ultimately Spears was found dead just blocks away from where Carmon had been slain. Initially police had said that while there was “no direct link” between the two murders, it was an “unusual” situation that they would be “monitoring very closely.”

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