Guilty Verdict in Murder of Trans Woman Ahsid Hemingway-Powell
Author: Trudy Ring
An upstate New York man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the 2022 death of transgender woman Ahsid Hemingway-Powell, also known as Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway.
A jury in Albany County returned the verdict Thursday on Iaeir Robinson, 27, of Ravena, the Albany Times Union and other local sources report. County Court Judge William Little will sentence him January 19. The sentence can range from 25 years to life in prison.
Hemingway-Powell was shot to death in her apartment in the city of Albany sometime between the afternoon of May 27, 2022, and the next morning. Robinson, who was arrested last August, claimed she had transmitted HIV to him. While both had tested positive, it’s not clear how each was infected, prosecutors said. Robinson had pleaded not guilty, and his defense attorney said there were others who could have killed Hemingway-Powell.
Hemingway-Powell had recently graduated with a degree in biology from the State University of New York at Albany, where she had received an award for her academic achievement and community activities. She planned to move to California and continue her education, with the goal of becoming a physician assistant.
Initial coverage of the case identified the victim as Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway, but later coverage and prosecutors used the name Ahsid Hemingway-Powell (sometimes spelled Hemmingway-Powell) while respecting her female identity. So it isn’t clear if Ahsid Hemingway-Powell is the victim’s preferred name.
She will be greatly missed, according to prosecutors and her loved ones. “While the last three weeks have been spent focusing on the crimes of the defendant, I want to shift the spotlight away from his heinous actions and redirect it toward the beautiful soul we lost, Ahsid Hemingway-Powell,” Albany County Assistant District Attorney Ariel Fallon said in court, the Times Union reports.
“She had so much to offer this city, from the LGBTQ+ community and beyond,” Fallon added. “Sid will be sorely missed, and I hope today’s verdict brings some sense of closure to her loved ones.”
After Robinson’s arrest, Jackie Powell, Hemingway-Powell’s mother, told Albany’s ABC affiliate that he was “someone that she knew and I guess thought loved her. We know the family. It’s no winner. It’s heartbreaking still for me and my children.”
Transgender women face a higher rate of intimate partner violence than their cisgender peers, according to several studies.
Amir Powell, the victim’s brother, told the local NBC station that “she was a really loving person. She wouldn’t ever hurt anyone. She had so many ambitions and goals, and her life was just starting when things were just getting good. It’s just really hurtful for everyone.”
Pictured, from left: Iaeir Robinson and Ahsid Hemingway-Powell
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring