Houston man gets 36 years in prison for murdering a transgender woman

Author: John Russell

A Houston man received a 36-year prison sentence for murdering a transgender woman in 2019, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday.

In August 2019, friends remembered Williams as funny, creative, and courageous, with a “larger-than-life” personality that charmed fellow diners at a weekly dinner for youth experiencing homelessness at Houston nonprofit Montrose Grace Place.

“This is a big loss for the community,” Montrose Grace Place executive director Courtney Sellers told the Houston Chronicle at the time. “It’s hard for so many reasons.”

According to Houston’s Fox 26, Bourgeois was homeless at the time of the murder and was dating Williams. Witnesses said that the couple had gotten into an argument on July 30, 2019, and that Williams said she intended to end their relationship.

Surveillance video reportedly showed Bourgeois repeatedly stabbing Williams as they walked along Katy Freeway in the Memorial area of Northwest Houston. Bourgeois abandoned Williams in a parking lot and went to a nearby McDonald’s drive-through where he bought a drink and begged several drivers to help him flee the area.

Local ABC affiliate KTRK reported that Williams’s body was found with a puncture wound and several lacerations. Police said they were able to identify Williams with the help of partners in the community.

Speaking to reporters in 2019, Williams’s mother, Joyce Williams misgendered her daughter. According to Houston’s NBC 2, Joyce Williams said that she did not think her daughter’s identity had anything to do with her murder, and the Houston Chronicle reports that police did not think the murder was a hate crime, as Bourgeois and Williams’s three-month relationship had been volatile.

But as activist Monica Roberts of Black Trans Women, Inc, told KTRK in 2019, Williams was the 16th transgender woman to be murdered in the U.S. that year. She was one of three transgender women killed in Texas in 2019, according to the Houston Chronicle.

According to a 2021 report from the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, transgender people are over four times more likely to be victims of violent crimes than cisgender men and women.

A report released by the Human Rights Campaign last year found that Black transgender women comprise 63 percent of victims of fatal violence against trans and gender nonconforming people. Additionally, 85 percent of victims last year were trans women and 85 percent were people of color. So far, the HRC has tracked at least 15 trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S. who died by violent means in 2023.

Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: John Russell

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