Police in Sherwood, Ark., have arrested Trevone Miller, 18, on a charge of capital murder in connection with the death of Black transgender girl Brayla Stone.
Miller was taken into custody Thursday and was being held in Pulaski County Jail, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. Stone, 17, of North Little Rock, was found dead in a car in Sherwood June 25. Police have not released any information about her cause of death, and the county coroner declined to provide any details to the newspaper until an investigation is complete.
When Miller was 14, he and two other teens, Xavier Porter and Quincy Parks, were charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery in the ambush and killing of a fourth youth, Bryan Allen Thompson. Miller, who originally was to be prosecuted as an adult, agreed to testify against the others and plead guilty so he could be prosecuted as a juvenile under the Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction Act, which “allows him to be sent to prison if he is not deemed to be rehabilitated by the time he turns 21,” according to a 2016 Democrat-Gazette article.
He did not end up having to testify, but Parks and Porter were sentenced to 20 and 10 years in prison, respectively, for downgraded charges. In Arkansas, capital murder is punishable by either the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole.
Miller was picked up on a warrant dating back to that case, for which he was on probation, Planet Transgender reports. He also had been arrested in March on unrelated charges of robbery, identity theft, and firearms possession, and had been freed on bail for those charges.
Area residents have held a vigil in Stone’s honor and called for an end to misgendering of her by police and media. About 100 people attended a vigil last week at a Little Rock church, where a transgender Pride flag was displayed, along with a plaque reading “Black Trans Lives Matter.”
Police say they so far have no evidence indicating Stone’s death was a bias crime. Arkansas is one of only four states that have no hate-crimes law, LGBTQ+-inclusive or otherwise, but the federal government could intervene under its hate-crimes law.