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Man Arrested in Killing Black Transgender Woman in Maryland

Man Arrested in Killing Black Transgender Woman in Maryland

Rico Leblond has been charged in the murder of Zella Ziona, a transgender woman, in Montgomery Village, Maryland.

Published October 19, 2015

Rico Leblond has been charged in the murder of Zella Ziona, a transgender woman, in Montgomery Village, Maryland. She is at least the 21st transgender woman to be killed in the U.S. this year.

The 21-year-old was shot in the head in a service alley on Thursday, according to ABC News. Police say Smith and Ziona had "some degree of friendship," before the attack.

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"This is a horrific crime and a tragedy for those who knew Zella," Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said in a statement. "As with all homicides in Montgomery County, we have detectives working around the clock to thoroughly and completely investigate this murder."

Leblond was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Friday night. 

Investigators have not yet decided if Ziona's death will be considered a hate crime.


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(Photo: Zella Ziona via Facebook)

Written by Natelege Whaley

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