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Arrest Made in Murder of Philadelphia Trans Man Mar'Quis 'MJ' Jackson

Arrest Made in Murder of Philadelphia Trans Man Mar'Quis 'MJ' Jackson

Mar'Quis "MJ" Jackson

Mar'Quis "MJ" Jackson

U.S. marshals arrested Charles Mitchell, 40, over the weekend in Henderson, Nev.

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A man has been arrested in the death of Philadelphia transgender activist Marquis “MJ” Jackson.

U.S. marshals arrested Charles Mitchell, 40, of Philadelphia over the weekend in Henderson, Nev., several Philly media outlets report. He faces charges of “murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence,” according to TV station WPVI. He had been identified as a suspect in January, and the Philadelphia district attorney’s office sought the public’s help in locating him.

Jackson, a Black trans man, was found dead December 14 in the backyard of a home in Philadelphia. He had sustained blunt force trauma to his head, and there were cuts and bruises on his hands and legs. He had been missing since December 12, which was his 33rd birthday.

His mother called several of his friends and acquaintances, and she eventually reached the occupant of the residence where his body was found. His remains may have been in the yard for the entire two days.

Jackson was a supporter of many LGBTQ+ organizations, including the William Way Community Center in Philadelphia and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. Friends described him as someone who was “full of life and love” and “would get the party started anywhere.”

Markiya Jackson, his sister, appeared at a March press conference held by District Attorney Larry Krasner to announce there was a warrant for Mitchell’s arrest and to call attention to anti-LGBTQ+ violence in general.

“My brother deserves justice. My family deserves justice,” Markiya Jackson said, according to radio station KYW. “I really hope someone comes forward very soon.”

In recent years, Philadelphia has also seen the deaths of Black trans women Shahere “Diamond” Jackson-McDonald and Tracy “Mia” Green, both due to gun violence. Abdullah El-Amin Jaamia has been convicted of third-degree murder in Green's death and sentenced to serve 17 and a half years to 35 years in prison. Jackson-McDonald's case remains unsolved.

Mar’Quis Jackson was at least the 38th trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming person to die by violence in the U.S. in 2022. There are likely many more such deaths in any given year, as many go unreported or misreported.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.