Summary: ‘ When asked about criticisms of their representation of McFadden, the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office sent a statement to The Daily Beast Monday evening, calling the transgender woman’s demise a “tragedy”, and adding that their “prayers remain with Kenne’s family.” “Our office fought, for justice for Kenne sought to hold Mark Daniel Lewis accountable for his actions,” the statement read. Smith told The Daily Beast that she hopes the Tuesday evening rally will draw attention to the alarming rates of violence faced by transgender women of color—and to the impact that McFadden’s demise has had on transgender Texans, who’ve already been fighting off of attempts to pass an anti-transgender “bathroom bill.” “It’s raised concerns in our community about our own personal safety, besides all of the other things that were going on last year when we had lawmakers stigmatizing transgender people, and making us out to be dangerous,” said Smith. Houston-based transgender advocate, and writer Monica Roberts, who’ll be speaking at the rally, called the case “botched” on her TransGriot blog and questioned the decision of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office to “present [their] evidence during a probation hearing, for Lewis”—a context in which Judge Contreras’ decision effectively ruled out a future manslaughter trial, due to a double jeopardy rule.
Local transgender advocates are currently protesting the judge’s decision—as well as the district attorney’s handling of the case—at a Tuesday night march and rally in San Antonio called “Justice, for Kenne.” “I was heartbroken and I was shocked, and it’s very exasperating to know that the man who pushed Kenne McFadden to her demise isn’t even going to face a trial,” Ashley Smith, president of the San Antonio Gender Association, told The Daily Beast in a phone interview the day prior to the rally. “I meant to push him away.” But as the Express-News also noted, San Antonio Park Police Officer Terry Hardeway testified that McFadden often danced close to people along the River Walk—and that McFadden, and Lewis were seen hugging many times along the tourist stretch two days prior to the young woman’s body was recovered by the boat operator. Due to the lower standard of proof in a Motion to Revoke Probation hearing, our office is legally unable to continue ahead with a completely full to capacity criminal trial against Mark Daniel Lewis.” The judge’s ruling came despite the fact that Lewis admitted to pushing the intoxicated McFadden during a police interview that was played in court….Read The Full Article Here
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