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Arrest Made in Killing, Mutilation of Philadelphia Trans Woman

Dominque Fells

A suspect in the death and mutilation of Philadelphia transgender woman Dominique Rem’mie Fells has been arrested in Los Angeles.

Akhenaton Jones, 36, was taken into custody in L.A. Monday night and will be extradited to Philadelphia, according to Philly TV station WCAU. Police had issued a warrant for his arrest in June, a few days after Fells’s death, saying he would be “charged with murder, possession of an instrument of crime, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse,” NBC News reported at the time.

Fells’s body was discovered in the Schuylkill River early in June. She had been stabbed several times and had serious head injuries. Her legs had been cut off and were not recovered. Police found a cutting tool and evidence of blood at Jones’s home in Philadelphia.

Fells, 27, was a dancer and aspiring fashion designer. Police had said Jones was acquainted with her, but they have not said what they believe his motive was. Fells is one of at least 34 trans or gender-nonconforming Americans to die by violence this year.

Protests this summer over the killings of Black Americans often noted trans victims, including Fells. Sen. Kamala Harris (now vice president-elect) and actress Kerry Washington were among those who spoke out about Fells’s death, along with her loved ones.

“Our goal in all of this, if any good can come from this, is that we’re going to keep Dominique’s memory alive,” Germyce Williams, Fells’s aunt, told Insider in June. “We’re going to just make the general public more aware of trans issues. Trans are people too. And when we say Black lives matter, all Black lives matter, that includes trans people.”

Family members and activists expressed relief that an arrest had been made. “Karma has come back full circle,” Fells’s sister Dior Edmonds tweeted. “Dominique always gets the last laugh.” Philadelphia trans activist Deja Lynn Alvarez praised the work of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, saying, “It’s not often that we are able to get justice in our communities,” according to NBC News.

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