In the end, it came down to Chambers’ word against that of Marquise Foster, his former co-defendant. Foster, his one-time accomplice, took a plea deal and pointed the finger at Chambers.
The jury found Chambers, of Newark, not guilty of murder, bias intimidation and two weapons offenses. Chambers, 25, who maintained his innocence from the beginning and took the stand in his own defense, had faced up to life in prison if convicted of murder.
Chambers was charged with shooting White three times in her cousin’s studio apartment in the early morning hours, infuriated after suspecting she had been a man, prosecutors said. White, whom Chambers had met at an Irvington nightclub earlier that evening, was a lingerie model who had sex reassignment surgery a decade earlier in Thailand and had legally changed her name from James White.
Foster, who was also charged with murder, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in exchange for his testimony against Chambers.
Foster, 26, said Chambers had been hugging and kissing White that evening, but became enraged when he suspected White was a man.
Foster testified that he heard Chambers shout, “You a dude?” Three gunshots followed seconds later, though Foster claimed he never saw the shooting because his back was turned.
Chambers denied having anything to do with the killing, and painted Foster as the gunman.