Tragic Maryland case highlights the violence against transgender individuals

SUITLAND, Md. – A tragic case has shed light on the ongoing violence faced by transgender individuals, as a woman was reportedly murdered by her boyfriend after he discovered her transgender identity. Taya Ashton, a 20-year-old woman, was found shot to death inside her apartment in July of 2021, leading to the arrest and murder charges against her boyfriend, 29-year-old DeAllen Price.

According to prosecutors, Price and Ashton were involved in an intimate relationship, and the tragic incident occurred after an argument between the couple. The case was described as challenging, as there were no witnesses and the evidence was largely circumstantial. It was revealed in court that Price learned about Ashton’s transgender identity on the evening of the incident, which reportedly led to him reacting by shooting her.

Price ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence. As a result, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison, with 12 years suspended. This case has prompted advocates and activists to speak out against the ongoing violence faced by transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Lindsey Clark, the HRC Associate Director of the Transgender Justice Initiative, emphasized the urgency of ending the stigma and violence faced by this community.

The tragic death of Taya Ashton serves as a reminder of the challenges and dangers faced by transgender individuals, particularly transgender women of color. It highlights the urgent need for allies and community members to come together to address and combat the violence and discrimination faced by the transgender community. This case also underscores the importance of education and awareness in promoting equality and acceptance for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.