February 3, 2016 at 12:53 pm EST | by Staff reports
Transgender woman murdered in Texas
Monica Loera, gay news, Washington Blade

Monica Loera (Photo courtesy Facebook)

AUSTIN, Texas — A transgender Latina woman was shot to death last month in Texas.

Monica Roberts, a trans advocate who is based in Houston, wrote on her blog that Monica Loera was standing in front of her home in Austin on Jan. 22 when she was shot.

Loera died at a nearby hospital.

Roberts reported the Austin Police Department arrested JonCasey William Rowell in connection with Loera’s death. Rowell has been charged with first-degree murder and remains in the Travis County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

Loera is the first trans person reported killed in 2016.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Monica Loera,” said Nell Gaither, president of the Dallas-based Trans Pride Initiative, in a press release the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released on Jan. 30.

Gaither also expressed outrage over “the oppressive and willfully disrespectful police and media systems that continue to erase our identities and further victimize our communities and our families.”

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