A San Antonio man who pushed a 27-year-old transgender woman to her death will not face trial for his actions, reports San Antonio Express News.
Last April, the body of Kenne McFadden was found floating in the San Antonio River. Her death was ruled a homicide two months later and, in November, Mark Daniel Lewis was charged with manslaughter.
Authorities believed McFadden was intoxicated and Lewis pushed her off the River Walk, causing her to drown.
At a March 8 court hearing, the 20-year-old claimed he’d kissed McFadden and she’d groped him. He admitted he pushed her away, but said he never intended for McFadden to fall into the river. “I didn’t mean to push him into the river,” Lewis said, misgendering her in his testimony.
After hearing testimony, District Court Judge Joey Contreras ruled that Lewis’ actions didn’t merit a charge of manslaughter. “This is a terrible tragedy that occurred,” Contreras said. Lewis was also on probation for failing to register as a sex offender in an unrelated case, but Contreras also ruled he hadn’t violated the terms of his probation.
Because of double jeopardy laws, Lewis now cannot be tried again for McFadden’s death. The ruling outraged McFadden’s family and loved ones—including her mother, who reportedly collapsed after hearing the judge’s decision and was rushed to the hospital by paramedics.
LGBT advocates plan to protest the ruling in front of the Bexar County District Attorney’s office on March 13 at 6pm.
“We demand justice for Kenne,” organizers wrote on Facebook. “We refuse to go away and will show up to make our voices heard!”
McFadden, whom friends remember as “goofy and uplifting,” she was one of at least 27 transgender Americans murdered last year. The majority of them, like her, were trans women of color.