Friends of deceased transgender person relieved after suspect enters guilty plea

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

Friends of a transgender person violently killed two years ago in New Westminster say they are relieved they don’t have to be put through a long and drawn-out trial.

Twenty-year-old Charles Jameson Neel was originally charged with second-degree murder, but entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter in New Westminster Supreme Court.

Alex Sangha says January Lapuz was a well-known volunteer within the transgender community.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her, that her friends don’t think about her, and how violently her life was ended, and transgender women are very marginalized within the community and it’s very hard for them to survive.”

Lapuz was found stabbed in her home in September 2012 and died in hospital.

Sangha hopes her death highlights the challenges many transgender people endure in society.




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