NEW YORK — Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday dismissed a misdemeanor assault charge against a Harlem man who had been arrested in connection with the fatal beating of a transgendered woman in Harlem.
Paris Wilson, 20, left Manhattan Criminal Court a free man — at least temporarily — as prosecutors said they were not ready to move ahead with a homicide case, reported The New York Daily News.
Wilson had been charged with misdemeanor assault but the charges were expected to be elevated because victim, 21-year-old Islan Nettles, died in a New York hospital on August 22, five days after she was attacked.
On August 17, Nettles and a friend, another transgender woman, ran into a group of men. Nettles was repeatedly punched in the face while slurs were hurled at her during the early morning attack, authorities said.
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A witness who spoke to authorities initially did not mention any anti-LGBT slurs, and when arrested, Wilson was charged only with a misdemeanor assault.
The witness eventually told detectives about the slurs and the hate crimes task force took over the investigation, but additional charges against Wilson were never filed.
Article continues belowFollowing Wilson’s arrest, another man turned himself in to police and confessed to the crime, but said he was too drunk to remember the events. That person has not been arrested.
Delores Nettles, the victim’s mother, told the Daily News she’s confident the case will be solved, resulting in Wilson’s arrest for the murder, but is “upset” he’s now off the hook.