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Teen Accused of Killing Transgender Girl Takes Stand in Defense, Blames Codefendant for Murder

transgender teenager Brianna Ghey candle lit vigil Hippodrome Theatre Birmingham UK
Image: Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images

The two accused teens were allegedly obsessed with murder and death, and made a list of potential murder victims from amongst their friends.

One of two teens accused of killing Brianna Ghey took the stand in her defense in a Manchester Crown Court last week, admitting she plotted with another boy to kill the transgender teen but blaming her codefendant for the actual murder, according to court records reported by the Manchester Evening News and other media outlets.

In previous testimony, prosecutors presented an array of evidence linking the two teens to the crime, including messages, forensic evidence, and detailed handwritten plans of the murder, as well as a potential confession to other murders by one of the suspects.

Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old transgender girl, was stabbed to death in Linear Park in Culcheth around 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 11. She was still alive when discovered by two dogwalkers who called authorities, but she died at the scene. A medical examiner told the court Ghey had 28 stab wounds mainly to her head, neck, and back, as well as defensive wounds to her hands and wrists. The examiner said great force was used in the stabbing, breaking multiple ribs and bones in her wrists.

The dogwalkers, a married couple, said two teens, a boy and a girl, were with Ghey as she lay on the ground but quickly left after being discovered.

Because of their ages, the accused are called Boy Y and Girl X in public. Girl X and Boy Y, now 16 but who were 15 at the time of the murder, pleaded not guilty to the charges and instead accused the other of killing Ghey. The judge in the case advised jurors that Boy Y is autistic and that both accused suffer from other mental health issues.

Girl X reportedly had a boyfriend and did not appear to have a romantic relationship with Boy Y, but the pair communicated constantly about their shared interests, according to the prosecution.

As the trial opened, Deanna Heer King’s Counsel KC (King's Counsel) painted a disturbing portrait of the accused in her opening statement. Heer said the pair were obsessed with murder and death, going so far as to make a list of potential murder targets from amongst their friends. She said the pair actively plotted to kill Ghey whom Girl X had found intriguing and had befriended. The prosecutor also presented evidence suggesting that a sudden crippling illness that appeared life-threatening for Ghey before her murder may have been an unsuccessful poisoning attempt by Girl X.

Following her opening statement, Heer presented extensive evidence in the form of messages between Boy Y and Girl X where they discussed topics such as dark web torture videos, serial killers, and the merits of different means of murder.

(Editor's note: The following exchanges may be upsetting to some readers.)

“I thought [Boy M] was your friend, but you seem pretty okay with killing him,” Boy Y reportedly said in one typical conversation with Girl X from 2022.

“He is my friend tbh but I don’t care if you kill him,” she responded.

The conversation continued briefly before Boy Y reportedly said, “If he is guilty and you dispose of him, cut out his heart then cook it and feed it to your dog.”

Heer presented messages from another conversation where they allegedly discussed potential victims before deciding to murder Ghey.

“If we can’t get [Boy E] tomorrow we can kill Brianna,” Girl X reportedly messaged Boy Y in January.

“Yeah, it’ll be easier and I want to see if it will scream like a man or a girl,” Boy Y allegedly replied in a derogatory reference to Ghey.

After luring Ghey to meet the following day with the promise of getting high on cocaine together, Heer said Girl X plotted the details of the murder with Boy Y.

“I want to stab her at least once even if she’s dead, jus coz its fun, lol,” Girl X reportedly messaged Boy Y.

After Ghey canceled at the last minute, Girl X discussed other possible means of murder such as an overdose of cocaine, before ultimately rejecting them.

“Let’s just stab her,” she allegedly messaged. “It’s more fun.”

Heer said Girl X again used the prospect of getting high on cocaine to lure Ghey to her murder in February, going so far as to create a fake social media profile for a non-existent drug dealer to fool Ghey.

Ghey said she was suspicious of Girl X in a text to a friend and was nervous about the encounter as she shied away from going out in public.

“I’m on the bus by myself, I’m scared,” she messaged her mother shortly before her murder. Her mother encouraged her decision to go outdoors in her reply to Brianna.

Once at the park, Ghey, Girl X, and Boy Y were observed walking to a secluded section of the park. The three teens struck multiple witnesses as an odd grouping, with Ghey stylishly but inadequately dressed for the cold afternoon while Girl X and Boy Y wore Goth-style clothing.

Investigators believe the stabbing took place around 3 p.m. and that the pair had planned to drag Ghey’s body into the brush and cover her body with logs. They reportedly fled the park when they were interrupted by the dog walkers.

While the evidence suggested Boy Y stabbed Ghey, he claimed that Girl X was the real killer. The prosecution played in court a series of videotaped interviews of Boy Y with police after his arrest. Boy Y blamed Girl X for plotting and executing the murder, saying she was a Satanist obsessed with death and torture.

In the interview, he said he left Ghey with Girl X for less than a minute to urinate on a tree. When he turned around, he said he saw Girl X stabbing Ghey. He said he rushed over to Ghey and was checking on her well-being when he was observed by the dog walkers.

When confronted with his incriminating messages, Boy Y told police he didn’t mean what he said in the messages. He said he and others made light of her claims and that he was only playing along to impress Girl X because he didn’t have many friends.

When Girl X claimed in a message to Boy Y that she had killed two people, he reportedly replied, “You are one kill away from being a serial killer.”

Boy Y also told police he knew Ghey was trans and that he had no issue with her gender identity.

The prosecution also presented evidence suggesting Girl X tried to poison Ghey in mid-January. Ghey’s mother confirmed Brianna became acutely ill with severe abdominal cramps which mysteriously lessened once she vomited. Girl X reportedly referenced the incident in a message with Boy Y, saying she had given Ghey enough pills to kill her. Girl X theorized that Ghey survived the murder attempt because of a high tolerance to medications.

The court was also shown a videotaped interview between Ghey and police shortly after her arrest. She initially denied involvement in the crime, saying she had blocked Boy Y on social media because of the case.

Girl X reportedly ended the interview when told police had access to her communications with Boy Y, and she has not spoken to the authorities since.

The court also heard testimony from an expert witness who said the knife owned by Boy Y could have been wielded to cause all the wounds, although the same could be said of a knife of similar dimensions.

When questioned by her barrister, Richard Pratt KC, in front of jurors this week, Girl X did not deny the text message exchanges with Boy Y where the two plotted to kill various friends and discussed topics such as torture and murder.

Regarding the murder, she told a similar version in court to one provided by Boy Y in his videotaped interviews. She said she had walked a short distance from Boy Y and Ghey when she heard a scream. She said she turned around, she said she saw Boy Y stabbing Ghey.

She denied stabbing Ghey, and said she was shocked when it occurred. She also said she feared Boy Y at that moment.

“There was nothing I really could do,” Girl X testified, MEN reported. “I knew if I tried to step in [Boy Y] could have easily overpowered me in that situation.”

Girl X faced harsher questioning from the barrister for Boy Y, Richard Littler KC.

“Why would you have a fantasy about murdering your good friend?” he queried.

“I’m not sure,” Girl X replied. “I don’t know where it comes from.”

Littler then challenged her directly, suggesting that stabbing and killing Ghey was no longer a fantasy but something she now wanted and plotted to make happen. He suggested that Girl X was not interested in friendship with Boy Y or anyone else, but used people to fulfill her fantasies. And he suggested Girl X stabbed Brianna.

Girl X denied Littler’s suggestions, again saying it was Boy Y who stabbed Ghey.

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