CLEVELAND, Ohio — Police have charged a Cleveland man with murder in connection with the fatal December shooting of a 22-year-old transgender woman.
Delshawn Carroll, 19, was charged with one count of aggravated murder, reports Cleveland.com.
Detectives accused Carroll of shooting and killing Brittany Stergis on Dec. 6 as she sat in her car outside public housing.
Stergis was the second transgender woman killed in as many days, after Betty Skinner, a 52-year-old disabled, transgender woman, was discovered Dec. 5 by her caregiver at an assisted living facility.
Police did not give a motive for Stergis’ killing, or respond when asked if an arrest has been made in Skinner’s murder.
Police are unable to formally classify the slayings as hate crimes because Ohio law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity in its hate crimes laws.
Deputy chief Ed Tomba, speaking at a forum on Dec. 15 called by advocates of Cleveland’s LGBT community, said federal authorities would have to decide whether to try the cases under hate crime law.