D.C. witnesses another transgender murder

BY admin

August 19 2003 12:00 AM ET

A transgendered performer in Washington, D.C., who was well-known in local drag shows was killed by a man who allegedly had paid her for sex and then became enraged after he discovered her biological sex, The Washington Post reports. Elvys Augusto Perez, 25, who went by the name Bella Evangelista, was shot and killed about 4:30 a.m. Saturday near Allison Street and Arkansas Avenue N.W. A short time later police arrested Antoine D. Jacobs, 22, as he rode away from the scene on a bicycle. Jacobs was charged with first-degree murder.

Jacobs has said that he shot Evangelista when Evangelista tried to rob him, police said. But investigators quickly discounted that story. Instead, they believe Jacobs paid for sex from what he thought was a female prostitute. Afterward another person apparently told Jacobs that the prostitute was a man, and Jacobs allegedly returned to the scene and shot Evangelista, the Post said. Sgt. Brett Parson, of the D.C. police gay and lesbian liaison unit, said the killing was being classified as a bias-motivated crime. If convicted, Jacobs could receive an extended prison sentence under a D.C. hate-crimes law, Parson said.

Evangelista, an immigrant from Guatemala, often competed in drag shows around the city. When word of her death reached Club Chaos, on 17th Street N.W., there "was a lot of crying in the club," club co-owner Meni Peri said. "It was a very, very sad, very cold night in the club. It was a really, really sad and scary moment." Earline Budd, a transgender activist, told the Post that she knew Evangelista was homeless and had struggled with drug addiction, partly resulting from "being a transgender that really was estranged from her family." Budd and others noted that Evangelista's death occurred just days after the one-year anniversary of the killing of two transgendered teenagers in southeast Washington. Ukea Davis, 18, and Stephanie Thomas, 19, were shot multiple times as they sat in a car. Police have said those killings might have been a hate crime, though the killings have not been solved.

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