Robert H. JonesAge 30
15 Oct 1997
New Castle, Delaware (USA)
TDoR list ref: tdor.info/15 Oct 1997/Robert H. Jones
Robert was stabbed by Ronald Taltoan. During his trial, Taltoan used a trans panic defence and blamed the victim for their own death.
NEW CASTLE - A 19-year-old New Castle man pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter for the 1997 stabbing of a [trans person] following a sexual encounter.
Ronald Taltoan, who was facing a first-degree murder trial this month, will receive a 10-year sentence for killing Robert H. Jones, 30, of New Castle.
According to prosecutor Stephen M. Walther and defense attorney Edmund M. Hillis, the evidence suggests Taltoan killed Jones while under extreme emotional distress — Delaware's definition of manslaughter. To convict Taltoan of first-degree murder, prosecutors would have needed to prove he intentionally killed Jones.
Taltoan, who had no previous criminal record, was walking on Oct. 15, 1997, when Jones offered him a ride, a police investigation showed. Jones, whom Taltoan did not know, was dressed as and acted like a woman. They drove to the parking lot of Rose Hill Community Center in New Castle, where Jones per-formed a sex act on Taltoan. Then Jones [allegedly] told Taltoan "I'm a dude." Taltoan tried to get out of the car, but the passenger door did not open from the inside. He pulled a knife and stabbed Jones to death.
"The kid flipped out," Walther said. Taltoan pushed Jones from the car and tried to drive away, but crashed. He then fled on foot, and was arrested two weeks later in Elkton, Md. He will be formally sentenced in April.