The family of a Florida transgender woman murdered in April 2013 finally has some closure with the conviction of a 23-year-old man, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the crime.
Kentz Louis is a prison-releasee reoffender, according to The Orlando Sentinel. This means Louis will spend all 30 years in prison for the murder of 30-year-old Ashley Sinclair, who was found shot to death in a wooded area in Orange County.
Emotions were high in the courtroom as the sentence was being decided. Friends and family of Sinclair spoke directly with Kentz Louis, according to The Sentinel.
“You took my child, but you didn’t break me. You can’t break me,” Angela Smith, the mother of Sinclair, told Louis according to The Orlando Sentinel. “I don’t hate you. You are somebody’s child. I will pray for you because somebody prayed for my child. But young man, if my heart could show... you would see a scar that will be there for ever and ever.”
In a final attempt to spare Louis punishment for the crime, his attorney called for a new trial claiming his client was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite the attorney’s claims, the judge was unwavering in his decision to sentence Louis.
The conviction and sentencing has brought new faith to the LGBT community of Orange County. Axavier Darnell Strick, the entertainment director for Parliament House, remembered Sinclair as an entertainer, who was as an integral part of the community.
“She was somebody who was important,” Strick told The Sentinel. “She was somebody who was valued, and she was my friend...You took someone away from this community, and it mattered.”
Last year, Sinclair was remembered with other transgender men and women who had been killed because of their gender identity. A year later, one more case has been laid to rest, with justice provided to the grieving family and friends.