Anthony Michael Bowden, a former Fort Bliss soldier, was tried and convicted of murder of a transgender woman, according to El Paso Times.
Bowden, who was recently found guilty of murder, stabbed 36-year-old trans woman Erykah Tijerina twenty-four times at the Rio Grande Government Apartment Complex in Texas with a chisel in 2016. He claims that this was done in self defense because he says that she raped him and was planning on blackmailing him. Erykah did in fact have a history of blackmailing her clients, but that is hardly any reason to kill her.
Erykah Tijerina, born Eric Tijerina, worked as a prostitute and identified as a transgender woman. The prosecutor referred to her as Erykah, while the defense team referred to her as Eric.
According to the defense, Erykah threatened to tell military personnel that Bowden had slept with a transgender woman and that he was her pimp.
One of the defense lawyers, William Ahee, said “On Aug. 8, 2016, Eric threatened Anthony Michael Bowden,” Ahee said in his closing arguments. “She blackmailed him. He went to the apartment, and Eric started undressing him (Bowden). He (Tijerina) threatened him. He (Bowden) feared he was going to be raped again. He went to his car, got the chisel. Eric threatened him, and he (Bowden) had the right to defend himself.”
That's a lot of misgendering.
Anyway, the prosecutors told the court that Bowden repeatedly lied during the trial and went to Tijerina's apartment with then intent to kill her and that he was never raped. Additionally, it was found that Bowden used Craigslist to solicit sex from Tijerina and after meeting with her in August 8th, he said that he was going to his car to get money to pay her but instead returned with a chisel and stabbed her to death.
Denise Butterworth, a state prosecutor, told the court that in order for the self defense claim to hold any water, there needed to be an imminent threat. The fact that Bowden left the apartment to go to his car to get the chisel shows that he could have left at any time and, as such, proves that he was not in any danger.
After hearing the verdict Bowden had no reaction, while his family wept.
Blackmail is never a good thing but it's also not a good reason to murder someone and his claim of self defense was clearly a lie. I don't know if it was shock or apathy, but him not having a reaction to his verdict does not sit well with me. Now, did he kill Erykah because she was transgender or because he was embarrassed by wanting to have sex with a transgender woman? Either way, he shouldn't have done it.
h/t: El Paso Times.