Philly man sentenced to 25 years for murder of transgender woman

Tamika Washington
Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Philadelphia man was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in state prison for the 2019 killing of Michelle “Tameka” Washington, a transgender woman who family and friends said was a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Crystal Davis thought she would feel relieved when the man convicted of killing her sister was sentenced.

But 28-year-old Troy Bailey didn’t show any remorse, Davis said, about the death of Michelle “Tameka” Washington, a transgender woman and local LGBTQ advocate who was fatally shot more than two years ago in North Philadelphia.

Crystal Davis, whose sister, Michelle "Tameka" Washington, was murdered in 2019, speaks about violence against transgender women on Monday.

“Every day I can’t call her and talk to her, I’m hurting on the inside,” Davis said. “She was my rock, and I don’t have that. He took that away for something that was so stupid, and I could never forgive him for that.”

Bailey was sentenced to 25-to-50 years in state prison Thursday after being convicted in May of third-degree murder and weapons violations.

Two days before his sentencing, a preliminary hearing was held for Akhenaton Jones, who is accused of killing Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, a 27-year-old trans woman.

Fells’s dismembered body was found in June 2020 in the Schuylkill River near Bartram’s Garden. Jones, 37, was on the run for several months before being arrested in California in November.

During the hearing, prosecutors presented DNA evidence showing that Fells was killed in an apartment where Jones was living, Assistant District Attorney Chesley Lightsey told reporters Monday.

A lawyer for Jones declined to comment on the case..

Kelly Burkhardt, the district attorney’s LGBTQ-plus community liaison, speaks Monday, July 26, during a news conference.

Investigators do not believe Fells or Washington were killed solely due to their gender identity; however, there is evidence that trans women, particularly those of color, face increased risks of violence. Fells and Washington were both Black

“Even though we think that certain cases may not be hate crimes, there’s definitely hate against trans women."
Kelly Burkhardt
District Attorney Office’s LGBTQ-plus liaison

Since the beginning of the year, 31 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been murdered nationally, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy organization that tracks violent incidents.

In 2020, the group documented 44 homicides, the most since they began counting the killings eight years ago.

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