Ashley Sinclair ("Mahogany Singleton")Age 30
4 Apr 2013
Orange County, California (USA)
TDoR list ref: tgeu/4-Apr-2013/Ashley Sinclair (Mahogany Singleton)
Ashley was found shot dead in a wooded area of Orange County.
Ashley was known by the stage name Mahogany Singleton and was popular in the local LGBT community for her performances.
A transgender woman was found shot to death Thursday morning in a wooded area in the Oak Ridge area of Orange County.
Investigators did not immediately release much information, but did identify the victim as 30-year-old Ashley Sinclair.
Deputies spent Thursday morning in the woods along Rio Grande Avenue, where the victim was found after a 911 call came from neighbors just before 6 a.m. saying shots were fired in the area of the 1600 block of Nimrod Lane.
A neighbor said they saw a black sedan pull up and then heard four shots fired.
In December 2014 Kentz Vernes Louis, 22, was convicted of manslaughter with a firearm and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Ashley Sinclair's killing didn't attract the attention of Central Florida's highest-profile homicides. But Thursday, friends and family made sure her killer knew the impact of the slaying.
"When you took Ashley away from us, you hit us in the very core of our heart," said Axavier Darnell Strick, entertainment director for Parliament House, the gay entertainment venue where the 30-year-old transgender woman was a performer.
"She was somebody who was important," Strick said. "She was somebody who was valued, and she was my friend... You took someone away from this community, and it mattered."
The victim's mother, Angela Smith, was defiant.
"You took my child, but you didn't break me," Smith told 23-year-old Kentz Vernes Louis. "You can't break me."
Louis, convicted of manslaughter with a firearm in Sinclair's death at trial, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday.
Darcel Stevens, entertainment director for the Parliament House, and other friends of Sinclair filled the courtroom to hear Louis’ verdict. Stevens, who performs in drag, said he’s been friends with Sinclair for 12 or 13 years. He called their group “a sisterhood” and said “when something happens to one of us it affects us all.”
“Most of the entertainers aren’t drag queens like myself who live as a man and perform professionally as a female,” Stevens said. “Most are transsexual and live their truth. They aren’t 5’4” and don’t blend in easily. We stick together very tightly because there are people out there who don’t care very much for what we do and who we represent.”
TvT project: CF News, 05.04.2013