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The killer of Cemia “CeCe” Dove was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.
Andrey Bridges, 36, will be eligible for parole in 20 years, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. A Cuyahoga County jury found him guilty Friday of murder.
The body of Dove, 20, a transgender woman, was found in April in a pond in Olmstead Township, southwest of Cleveland. Prosecutors said she was stabbed 40 times on Jan 5, tied to a concrete block and found three months later.
“The anger behind it, and the absolute brutality – I don’t understand it,” Assistant County Prosecutor Brian Radigan told The Plain Dealer.
The brutality doesn’t shock transgender activists, though.
The International Transgender Day of Remembrance website lists 58 transgender murder victims from around the world who have been killed since the last ceremony in November 2012. Victims were stabbed multiple times, beheaded and dismembered, stoned, hanged and subjected to other forms of extreme brutality.
A June report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs — an organization that includes Ohio’s Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization — found that transgender women were the victims in half of all hate-crime killings of LGBT people.
Bridges claimed two other men killed Dove, but The Plain Dealer reported that he called her several times on Jan 5 and paid for her cab ride from Cleveland to his apartment in Olmstead Township.
The jury decided not to convict Bridges of aggravated murder, which requires premeditation.
WJW-TV reported that a cousin of Dove spoke at Bridges’ sentencing and offered no forgiveness to the killer.
“Who gave you the right to decide who lives and who dies? You, Andrey, are a coward,” Nicole Cantie said, according to the Cleveland station. “Was it worth it? You could have just walked away. Every breath you take is ten breaths too many. I hope and pray that prison doesn’t treat you right. Have a nice life.”
The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance is Wednesday, Nov 20. TransOhio will host a remembrance gathering in Columbus at 7p at King Avenue United Methodist Church, 299 King Ave in Victorian Village.