A 28-year-old woman from Ohio on
Wednesday became the 19th transgender person to be
murdered in the United States this year.
James Allen Byrd, an ex-boyfriend of
the victim's mother, is accused of killing Rae'Lynn Thomas.
Byrd was living with Rae'Lynn and her
mother, Renee Thomas, in their Columbus home, WBNS
Renee described the incident: “He was
in the bedroom and he just came around the corner and shot
[Rae'Lynn].” Byrd, Renee said, continued to beat Rae'Lynn. She
said that the last thing she heard was her daughter pleading with her
not to “leave her.” “Mom, I'm dying,” Renee said her
daughter told her.
Renee said that Byrd, who is being held
on a $2 million bond, should “spend his life in prison.”
Rae'Lynn's aunt, Shannon Thomas, told
reporters that she believes the killing was a hate crime.
This year is shaping up to be deadlier
than 2015, in which 21 transgender women were killed.