A Washington, D.C., man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing Maryland transgender woman Keyonna Blakeney last year.
Keith C. Renier received the maximum sentence for second-degree murder, The Washington Post reports. Judge Marielsa Bernard of Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland imposed the sentence Friday.
Renier accompanied another man who had arranged to meet Blakeney, 22, for a date at the Red Roof Inn in Rockville, Md., in April of last year, but they actually intended to rob her, according to court documents quoted by the Post. Blakeney was found dead of multiple stab wounds April 16, 2016, and her room “appeared to have been ransacked,” the documents said.
Five days before Blakeney’s death, Renier had pleaded guilty to a weapons charge, after being arrested for brandishing a knife on a Metro train platform in Washington, the Post reports.
The Post article did not indicate if Blakeney was targeted because of her gender identity. Her death was one of 27 reported homicides of transgender people, mostly trans women of color, in 2016, the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans. Seventeen trans Americans are known to have been murdered so far this year. The actual number for any year is undoubtedly greater, as some deaths are not reported in the media and some victims misgendered.