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Man shot trans woman after being turned down for sex

Attempted to rob her at gunpoint before shooting her in neck as she sat in her car

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A 20-year-old man arrested last week for allegedly shooting a transgender woman in Southeast D.C. solicited the woman for sex and attempted to rob her at gunpoint before shooting her in the neck as she sat in her car, according to a police arrest affidavit.

The affidavit, filed last week in D.C. Superior Court, says the woman drove herself to the Seventh District police station to seek help. It says police immediately called an ambulance, which rushed her to a local hospital.

While doctors stabilized her condition in the emergency room, the woman gave police information that led to the arrest of Darryl Willard on Sept. 23, one day after the 2 a.m. shooting took place, the affidavit says.

Police charged Willard with assault with attempt to kill after he surrendered at the First District police station. He’s being held in jail pending a court hearing scheduled for Sept. 23.

The incident was the fourth reported shooting or attempted shooting of a transgender woman in D.C. since July. Lashai Mclean, a 23-year-old transgender woman, died from gunshot wounds in the first of the shooting incidents on July 20.

The latest incident last week prompted transgender activist Ruby Corado to state at a news conference that these and other assaults against transgender women earlier this year have left the D.C. trans community in crisis.

The police affidavit for the Sept. 22 shooting case says the incident began when the victim picked up Willard in her car shortly before 2 a.m. at 22nd and Savannah streets, S.E. It says the woman told police she has known Willard for two and a half years and that he has paid her for sex in the past.

It says Willard’s request for oral sex came while the woman and Willard “drove around the area for approximately 15 minutes” before she stopped her car at 23rd and Savannah streets, S.E. to allow him to get out. It says the woman refused to give Willard her money. It says he then shot her “from very close range,” with a bullet striking her in the right side of her neck.

Transgender activist Earline Budd says the woman was in the hospital this week in stable condition.

At last week’s news conference, held outside D.C. police headquarters, Budd said the fact that some of the transgender women targeted in recent assaults and shootings have been involved in prostitution highlights societal prejudice and discrimination that has prevented many transgender women from finding work outside the sex industry.

“It’s out of necessity and out of survival,” she said. “It’s not that we want to be in prostitution.”

Budd said she was hopeful that a pilot jobs program initiated by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray that reaches out to unemployed transgender people will result in job opportunities that won’t make it necessary for some trans women to turn to prostitution. The first group of transgender clients enrolled in the program began their training sessions last week.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. laurelboy2

    September 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Another classic example of poor personal responsibility, accountability, and choices which led to another trans crime. Tisk, tisk, girls. When will you collectively learn?

    • Nox

      September 24, 2011 at 1:55 am

      Are you blaming transwomen for the crimes?

    • Indi

      September 24, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      are you freaking serious, omg don,t tell me your a gay man right lol. Darls I probably transitioned when you were still teething, I bet you have an iphone and spend 23 hours a day on grindr so you opinion is probably a little mute but you manage to start some much needed dialogue so thanks for your input. I have many gay male friends and none of them would ever make such an abhorrent statement. This attitude is systemic and gay male society and some parts of gay female society (e.g Rad Femmes). This is why the trans community needs to break free of the GAY INC because its their job to keep us oppressed. We need to take control, which is what we are doing. Our biggest mistake has always been relying on the Gay Inc to help us. What they give us from one hand is taken with the other. Its all smoke and mirrors. Don’t let laurelboy upset you too much there are plenty of him out there. In fact in a way he is doing us a favour. Trans Misogyny seems to be a national pass time for alot of gay men and its a global phenomena. Its just hand me down discrimination which in a way is worse then the garden variety. To the Gay Inc, learn some respect and keep your nose out of our business and stop pretending you know anything about us or even tried to make an effort. Oh also as for the issue of trans tokenism, its great for funding however by the time you guys have squandered it (heaven forbid what on) we get fcuk all at the end. I take it The Blade is run by the Gay Inc like everything else and has very little investment in trans issues outside of the occasional token story. Well that,s what seems to happen here. Stop using us, stop having an opinion on us, stop trying to remove us from the pages of history (e.g. Stonewall), stop putting us down and treating us like accessories, stop with the stupid idiotic questions that straight people dont even ask. Just stop.

  2. Lydia Lee

    September 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    So he was arrested tomorrow? It’s not the 23rd quite yet.

  3. Kat

    September 22, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I’m disappointed.

    No classist transphoic comments yet from laurelboy.

    • Kate LBT

      September 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      What, you didn’t see him clucking his murderous tongue at her “poor choices”?

      People – and I use the word loosely – like laurelboy are the reason college-educated trans women are forced into sex work.

  4. Trans Panthers for Self Defense

    September 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    “Another classic example of poor personal responsibility, accountability, and choices which led to another trans crime. Tisk, tisk, girls. When will you collectively learn?”

    @laurelboy
    REALLY?? Oh Come on!! REALLY???..
    How about telling that to the other 2 women who are trans, who were shot at through a windshield by a drunk, off duty cop standing on the hood of their car, after he chased them when they turned him down for sex. they were just walking out of a store when he approached them.
    Your smug, arrogance and deafening ignorance bogles the mind.. then again, people especially misogynist men, do not surprise us.

  5. paula-transpanther

    September 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    @laurelboy

    REALLY?? Oh Come on!! REALLY???..
    How about telling that to the other 2 women who are trans, who were shot at through a windshield by a drunk, off duty cop standing on the hood of their car, after he chased them when they turned him down for sex. they were just walking out of a store when he approached them.
    Your smug, arrogance and deafening ignorance bogles the mind.. then again, people especially misogynist men, do not surprise us.

    We will keep making this point until the editors understand that just because the likes of “laurelboy” think it’s always the victims fault, that does not erase our identities and rights to live the same normal life as every other person in the world. Deleting our replies does not erase us, it just shows how you are not prepared to engage with a sector of society you seem to think deserve every violent act perpetrated against them as it must be somehow their fault for just existing. It wasn’t so long ago that gay men were being shot and beaten for just existing as well. Think about your history for a moment and then remember what it felt like to be erased and the anger it caused in your community. Now do we seem so extreme?. Paula – President Trans Panthers UK – No longer victims of hate!!

  6. Indi

    September 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    you continue to delete comments by trans people yet you leave that one awful comment, so what your doing is not allowing trans people to reply to a trans article. there is no reason why this post should be deleted.

  7. Indi

    September 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    by the way I am collecting screen shots of everything you delete, this is the thin edge of the wedge.

  8. laurelboy2

    September 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    To all those who object to my original posting on this topic, apparently you’re unwilling, unable, or both, to realize the facts. Cite just one recent bad/unfortunate event to occur to a trans woman/women that occurred in broad daylight in front of a Safeway? Keep thinking because there are none. All the incidents occur at very late night/very early morning hours under the cover of darkness in sleazy neighborhoods. I maintain: poor/absent personal responsibility, accountability, and choices have led to more trans crime. Crystal clear.

    • Andrea

      November 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      [URL removed] http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/09/13/teen-charged-in-mcdonald%E2%80%99s-trans-beating-sentenced-to-five-years/

      Beaten till she had a seizure, just for trying to use the women’s bathroom at a McDonald’s. The employees filmed it, and laughed while she seized. They then told her two assailants to go before the cops and ambulances arrived.

      God forbid you ever know the kind of pain you subject others to, Laurel. I really do think it would kill you to have to even try to hold the weight trans people do. Before you open your mouth next time, try to remember that the person you’re trying to strip the humanity off of was once someones child, just like you. How about you act like a person and show some respect and stop blaming the victim. You’re making the world a disgusting place to live.

  9. Shamy

    November 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    @laurelboy2

    It doesn’t matter what time of day it was. It doesn’t matter what was occurring. It doesn’t matter that you THINK these factors make a difference.

    Cut and dry fact- it is never, and never will be, the victim’s fault. The man shouldn’t have resorted to violence, plain and simple, end of story. No one who is EVER raped, beaten, or otherwise assaulted (verbally or physically) is the one at fault. Ever. The only one at fault is the one who committed the crime. They (‘they’ being the aggressors) are people and have the ability to use self-control and not act like Neanderthals. THEY are the ones who made poor choices.

    It’s sad that people like you, who think otherwise, actually exist. YOU’RE the reason shootings like this happen- you think it’s fine because, hey, the victim was in the wrong place/doing the wrong thing.

    Wake up, moron, and stop shoving your screwed-up morals around as if they’re fact.

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Heather Mizeur congressional campaign raises more than $1M

Former Md. delegate challenging Andy Harris

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Heather Mizeur, Delman Coates, Montgomery County, Silver Spring, Maryland, Maryland House of Delegates, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade, momentum
Former Maryland state Del. Heather Mizeur is running for Congress (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Heather Mizeur has raised more than $1 million in her campaign against anti-LGBTQ Republican Congressman Andy Harris in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.

“No candidate in #MD01 of either party, incumbent or challenger, has ever hit the $1M milestone this early in the election cycle,” Mizeur tweeted on Oct. 6.

The Victory Fund in an Oct. 8 press release said 80 percent of this $1 million came from Maryland-based donors, “a sign the district is ready for new representation.” And Mizeur continues to outpace Harris, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission that say she raised $717,445 for the cycle ending June 30, while Harris raised $425,288.

“Andy Harris has taken every opportunity to attack and vilify trans individuals, trying to score political points with his base at the expense of the safety of some of his constituents,” Mizeur told the Washington Blade.

In 2014 Harris made the Human Rights Campaign’s “Hall of Shame” for proactively working “to undermine existing legal protections and promote anti-LGBT discrimination.”

“In contrast, the LGBTQ community knows me for my record,” Mizeur said. “And knows I’ll always lead with compassion and stand up for civil and human rights. I think the 1st District will respond to my message of respect and understanding.”

Mizeur, who now lives on the Eastern Shore with her wife, served on the Takoma Park City Council. Mizeur was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for eight years.

In 2014, she launched a long-shot, grassroots campaign for governor where she finished a strong third in the Democratic primary, despite being outraised by better-known opponents.

But Mizeur also said she is aware of the challenges her team faces in taking on a well-entrenched Republican in a solidly conservative district.

The Cook Partisan Voter Index in 2017 rated the district as R +14, meaning the previous two presidential election results in the district skewed 14 percentage points more Republican than the national average.

“We have over $760,000 in the bank, and we’ve outraised him during our time in the race,” Mizeur said. “We’re raising the money we need to go toe-to-toe with Andy Harris next year.”

The Baltimore Sun in February reported Harris was “flush with campaign cash” mostly due to a 2010 redistricting that “packed” the area with Republican voters to increase Democrats’ chances in other district races.

“Yes, Andy Harris has over $1 million in the bank, stockpiled over a decade in office,” Mizeur said. “But in the short time I’ve been in the race, we’ve cut significantly into his cash on hand advantage.”

Harris has represented the 1st Congressional District—which includes Maryland’s Eastern Shore and parts of Baltimore, Carroll and Harford Counties—since 2011 and easily fended off most challenges with at least 60 percent of the vote. These challengers include Mia Mason, a transgender military veteran, who ran against him in 2020.

The 2010 redistricting made Harris’ seat safe enough not only to donate nearly a third of his war chest to conservative groups and candidates, such as U.S. Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), but to openly court controversy himself.

Harris last year openly defended then-President Trump’s discredited efforts to overturn the 2020 election. And in December he signed onto an amicus brief supporting a failed lawsuit contesting the presidential election results.

This year he downplayed the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection in which numerous police officers were attacked, members of Congress were threatened, and the U.S. Capitol was vandalized.

Mizeur told the Blade that while Harris’ actions regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection were the catalyst for her challenging his seat, she feels the district is changing and he no longer represents their interests.

“Our supporters know he’s been embarrassing Maryland in Congress for far too long, and that some of his actions have shown he’s completely unfit to serve in public office, regardless of ideological views,” Mizeur said. “They want someone who will bring compassionate leadership and innovative thinking back to the first district. And that’s appealing to people across party lines.”

Maryland’s primary election is June 28, 2022, and its general election follows on Nov. 8.

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AU student expelled over arrest in attack on gay Asian man, parents

Patrick Trebat no longer affiliated with university

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

An American University graduate student who was arrested by D.C. police on Aug. 7 on charges that he assaulted a gay Asian man and the man’s parents while shouting homophobic and anti-Asian slurs “is no longer affiliated with the university and will not be allowed on campus,” according to a report by WTOP News.

In an Oct. 9 broadcast that it updated this week, WTOP said Patrick Trebat, 38, who had been taking a night class at the university’s Kogod School of Business, was banned from returning to the campus.

Charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court show that Trebat was charged by D.C. police with one count of felony assault, two counts of simple assault and one count of destruction of property for allegedly assaulting and injuring Sean Lai, 30, an out gay man of Chinese ancestry, and his parents on the 3700 block of Fulton Street, N.W., on Aug. 7.

The charging documents say Trebat allegedly began to follow Lai and his parents as they were walking along the street in the city’s Observatory Circle neighborhood near the National Cathedral. According to a statement by a police official from the police district whose officers made the arrest, Trebat punched and kicked the three victims as he stated, “Get out of my country.” The police statement says the family was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

A separate police report says Trebat shouted the word “faggots” at the family and shouted, “You are not Americans!”

Based on these allegations, prosecutors classified the assault charges as an anti-Asian bias related crime, but they did not add an anti-gay classification to the charges.

Court records show that Trebat was released two days after his arrest while awaiting trial under the court’s High Intensity Supervision Program, which, among other things, imposed a curfew requiring him to return home by 10 p.m.

An Oct. 8 story in The Eagle, the American University student newspaper, says it learned that Trebat’s attorney filed a motion in court, which the Washington Blade also discovered from court records, asking a judge to extend the curfew deadline from 10 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. so that Trebat could attend at night class at American University.

The motion, which prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not oppose and the judge approved, identified Trebat in the public court records as an AU graduate student.

According to the Eagle, representatives of the university’s Asian American and LGBTQ student groups criticized university officials for not alerting students that an AU student charged with an anti-Asian hate crime while hurling homophobic slurs had access to the campus and could pose a danger to students.

“Patrick Trebant is not affiliated with American University and is not allowed on campus,” AU told the Blade on Wednesday in a statement. “While we cannot discuss details of an individual matter, when a student has been arrested, charged, convicted of, or sentenced for a felony crime, the university’s student conduct code provides for an administrative adjudication process. The safety of our students and our community is our priority.”

The Eagle reports that the code of conduct states that the dean of students or their designee can administratively adjudicate a case when a student has been accused of a non-academic offense “where the student has been arrested, charged, convicted of, or sentenced for a felony crime” for certain misconduct. The code of conduct applies in a situation in which a student is arrested for an off-campus allegation.

Court records show Trebat is scheduled to return to court at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 15 for a felony status hearing before Superior Court Judge Judith Pipe.

Neither Trebat nor his attorney, Brandi Harden, could immediately be reached for comment.

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Two remaining defendants in D.C. trans murder case accept plea bargain

Dee Dee Dodds murdered in Northeast Washington in 2016

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Deeniquia Dodds, gay news, Washington Blade
Deeniquia ‘Dee Dee’ Dodds was killed in 2016. (Photo via Facebook)

Two of the four D.C. men who were charged with first-degree murder while armed for the July 4, 2016, shooting death of transgender woman Deeniquia “Dee Dee” Dodds on a Northeast Washington street pleaded guilty on Sept. 30 to a charge of voluntary manslaughter as part of a plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors.

A four-page letter providing details of the plea bargain offer made by prosecutors with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, which was filed in D.C. Superior Court, states that the agreement accepted by defendants Jolonta Little, 30, and Monte T. Johnson, 25, includes the decision to drop the murder charge in exchange for a guilty plea to a single count of voluntary manslaughter.

It says that in exchange for the guilty plea prosecutors will also drop additional charges originally brought against Little and Johnson, including robbery while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The agreement also includes a promise by prosecutors to ask Superior Court Judge Milton C. Lee, who is presiding over the case, to issue a sentence of eight years in prison for both men.

The letter spelling out the details of the plea deal makes it clear that it will be up to Lee to decide whether to accept the eight-year jail term proposed by prosecutors, and there is no guarantee that Lee will not hand down a sentence with a longer prison term.

It states that under the D.C. criminal code, a conviction on a voluntary manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Attorneys and observers of the D.C. courts have said judges usually agree to a recommended sentence by prosecutors in cases involving a plea bargain agreement.   

The letter describing the terms of the plea agreement in the Johnson and Little cases does not say whether prosecutors will ask Lee to deduct from the proposed eight-year jail sentence the time that the two men have already spent in jail since the time of their arrest. But in most criminal cases, judges agree to provide full credit for time served in jail prior to a conviction and sentencing.

Johnson has been held without bond for just over five years since his September 2016 arrest. Little has been held without bond for four years and eight months since his arrest in February 2017.

The plea bargain deal came two and a half years after a D.C. Superior Court jury became deadlocked and could not reach a verdict on the first-degree murder charges brought against Johnson and Little following a month-long trial, prompting Lee to declare a mistrial on March 6, 2019.

The two other men charged in Dodd’s murder, Shareem Hall, 27, and his brother, Cyheme Hall, 25, accepted a separate plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors shortly before the start of the 2019 trial in which they pled guilty to second-degree murder. Both testified at the trial as government witnesses.

In dramatic testimony, Cyheme Hall told the jury that it was Johnson who fatally shot Dodds in the neck at point black range after she grabbed the barrel of his handgun as Johnson and Hall attempted to rob her on Division Avenue, N.E., near where she lived. Hall testified that the plan among the four men to rob Dodds did not include the intent to kill her.

In his testimony, Hall said that in the early morning hours of July 4, 2016, he and the other three men made plans to commit armed robberies for cash in areas of D.C. where trans women, most of whom were sex workers, congregated. He testified that the four men got into a car driven by Little and searched the streets for victims that they didn’t expect to offer resistance.

D.C. police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office initially designated the murder charges against Johnson and Little as a hate crime based on findings by homicide detectives that the men were targeting trans women for armed robberies. However, during Johnson and Little’s trial, Lee dismissed the hate crime designation on grounds that there was insufficient evidence by prosecutors to support a hate crime designation.

At the request of prosecutors, Lee scheduled a second trial for Johnson and Little following the deadlocked jury in the first trial. But court records show that for reasons not disclosed in the public court docket, the start of the second trial was postponed several times. The most recent postponement was due to restrictions placed on the court related to the COVID pandemic.

As of August, of this year, the court records show, the second murder trial for Johnson and Little was scheduled to begin on Feb. 17, 2022. But the records show that as of Sept. 30 of this year the defense attorneys and prosecutors reached an agreement over the plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors. It was on that day, the court records show, that the two men officially agreed to plead guilty to the lower charge of voluntary manslaughter and waived their right to a trial. The following day, on Oct. 1, Lee accepted the guilty pleas and scheduled the sentencing for Dec. 10.

Meanwhile, Cyheme Hall and Shareem Hall have remained in the D.C. jail since the time of their respective arrests. Court records show they were scheduled to be sentenced by Lee on Dec. 20, 10 days after the sentencing for Johnson and Little.

It couldn’t immediately be determined from the court records whether prosecutors allowed the Hall brothers to also plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and have dropped the second- degree murder charge to which the two men pled guilty back in 2019 as part of an earlier plea bargain deal.

At the time Johnson and Little’s trial ended with the deadlocked jury in March 2019, LGBTQ activists expressed alarm that the jury’s action appeared to be a repeat occurrence of several previous D.C. cases in which male attackers charged with assaulting and murdering trans women of color were not convicted for those crimes.

“This is a very dangerous move on the part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Ruby Corado, founder and former executive director of Casa Ruby, the D.C. LGBTQ community services center, in referring to the plea deal.

“We need to be strengthening laws to ensure that the horrible epidemic of violence against LGBTQ people that we currently face ends, and not giving criminals a slap on the hand for committing murders against us,” Corado told the Washington Blade. “This sends a message that our lives don’t matter that much to those who already see us as easy targets; we are now becoming disposable people in the eyes of the law.”

D.C. trans rights advocate Alexis Blackmon, Casa Ruby’s interim executive director, called the plea bargain deal offered to Little and Johnson “very disturbing.” Added Blackmon, “How it’s being read across to me is if we can’t convict you on murder then we’re going to basically slap your wrist.”

Blackmon said she will consult with other local LGBTQ activists to determine whether a representative of the LGBTQ community should request to testify at Little and Johnson’s Dec. 10 sentencing hearing to ask the judge to hand down a sentence greater than eight years.

D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and trans advocate Monika Nemeth said she too is troubled over the plea bargain agreement.

“While I am stunned by a plea that reduces the charge from first-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, I should not be as we are still a society for whom trans people, particularly trans women of color, are not valued and are disposable,” Nemeth said. “I don’t see how you get to voluntary manslaughter when the victims were targeted for being trans. This is not justice.”

William Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said he would make inquires with the office’s prosecutors to obtain a response to a question from the Blade asking for an explanation of why the decision was made to issue the plea bargain offer rather than bring defendants Little and Johnson to trial on the murder charge.

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