Police make an arrest after transgender woman found dead in field
A week after a transgender woman was found fatally shot in a field in eastern North Carolina, police say they have made an arrest.
The body of Chanel (Avery) Scurlock, 23, was found June 5, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office said.
Javaras Hammonds, 20, of Lumberton was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies say Hammonds shot Scurlock multiple times and stole her 2016 Ford Fusion.
The sheriff’s office referred to Scurlock as a man. But Scurlock’s mother told ABC11 that Scurlock was born a man and identified as a woman.
Scurlock went by the name Chanel, according to ABC11.
Her mother, Brenda, told the station that Scurlock was on her way to meet someone from an online dating site the day she was killed.
“They took my son’s life for nothing,” she said. “If you wanted his car, his phone, whatever ... he was a humble person. You could’ve just done that. ... You just targeted him.”
Scurlock was the ninth black transgender woman killed this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group.
“This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color — particularly Black transgender women —must cease,” the HRC said.
Hammonds was being held in jail without bond, according to the sheriff’s office.
“No parent should have to suffer the loss of their child under any circumstances. But, to learn that their son was brutally murdered by being shot multiple times and left to die is inconceivable,” Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said on Facebook. “However, while the investigation continues, we are pleased to bring closure to this family as we seek justice.”