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Latest from Rich Jones

    WOKV is learning more about the arrests that were made as a result of a raid by federal authorities at a home off San Jose Boulevard near Epping Forest and the Bolles School on Thursday.  According to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court, Fan Yang, his wife Yang Yang, and GE Songtao are charged with multiple counts in a conspiracy surrounding the sale of firearms by an alien under a non-immigrant visa. Fan Yang is actively serving in the Navy in a sensitive anti-submarine warfare unit, according to the complaint.  He is stationed at NAS Jacksonville.  His wife and the third individual were named as members of a years-long conspiracy.   Federal investigators say that a company called BQ Tree LLC was incorporated in May of 2015 with an address listed in Fleming Island, then changed to a Jacksonville address.  The complaint says that from November 2016 to August 2019, BQ Tree LLC and Yang Yang received more than $200,000 in direct wire transfers from a corporate entity connected to Songtao.  An updated criminal complaint filed on October 16th named a fourth suspect, Zheng Yan, a/k/a “the Mistress”.  
  • At least one person was shot at a home on Jacksonville’s westside early this morning. Jacksonville Police were called to Seaboard Avenue and detectives on-scene were tight-lipped about what specifically happened.  This is the 17th shooting incident since Monday, October 7th in Jacksonville. In a handful of these incidents, more than one person was shot.  Late on Thursday, JSO says it responded to Edenfield Road in reference to a person shot. Officers were not able to find a scene or a victim. But a short time later an off-duty officer at a local hospital said that a victim arrived at the hospital with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.  JSO says the victim was shot during an attempted robbery.  Thursday afternoon saw multiple people injured in shootings and stabbings in the Brentwood area.  Police believe there were 3 or 4 victims in the hospital, with one suffering a gunshot wound. The others are said to have stab wounds.  As for what happened, police believe there was a fight on Pearl Street, with some of those involved then traveling to W. 23rd Street. What led up to the fight remains under investigation. 
  • 10/18 2:00 PM: The tropical system moving through the Gulf Of Mexico has now strengthened into Tropical Storm Nestor. Original story: Enjoy the refreshing dry air while it lasts, as we will feel humidity return by this afternoon ahead of a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says highs will be slightly below average this afternoon in the upper 70’s under mostly cloudy skies. We will see some evening showers moving in from southwest to northeast. INDEPTH: Talking the Tropics with Mike Buresh  More rain moves in overnight and into Saturday as the system, soon to be named Nestor, arrives. Heavy rain and breezy winds will be moving in overnight tonight and for portions of Saturday. The rain will come in bands. Thus, there will be some moments of dry weather on Saturday. Strongest impacts will be in the area hit by Michael a little more than a year ago and fairly significant storm surge is forecast for the Big Bend, but not locally.  Buresh says a combination of fast movement and little serious damage to infrastructure means things should return to 'normal' quickly once the storm exits.
  • More than a year after a woman was killed in a double shooting over a drug dispute, a man has been arrested.  Jacksonville Police say Dustine Westfall is the second suspect accused of killing 37-year-old Jennifer Embree and injuring a man in February of 2018.  Police say Westfall asked the other suspect, Justin Williamson, to kill the man for an undisclosed amount of money. On February 2, 2018, the victims were shot in a home on East Pine Estates Road on the northwest side. The male victim was located outside the home, and he directed officers to Embree, who was inside. Embree was pronounced dead at the scene.  JSO says Westfall was inside the home earlier in the evening and got involved in an argument with the man shortly before the shooting.  Detectives say Westfall asked Williamson to kill the man for a specific amount of money.  Williamson was arrested in late February, 2018. According to court records, he pleaded guilty to second degree murder and attempted murder and was sentenced to spend 30 years in prison. 
  • Mild temperatures and low humidity will be around for about 36 hours or so, before the next big weather change impacts your weekend.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says afternoon temperatures today will be in the mid and upper 70’s with thin high clouds.  Low temperatures tonight will fall into the 50’s tonight, and parts of western Duval and Nassau County could see temperatures fall into the upper 40’s.  But all things change by Friday night and into Saturday as a tropical disturbance arrives from the Gulf of Mexico.  It’s unclear at this time how this system will behave and intensify, so keep listening to WOKV for updates from the First Alert Weather Team.  TALKING THE TROPICS WITH MIKE BURESH BLOG
  • Plan to drive through times of scattered showers today ahead of a cool front that will bring drier, more refreshing air to end the week.  Action News Jax Meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh says some rain may be heavy at times with a few rumbles of thunder.  Overall rainfall totals are not expected to be great, but the rainfall is needed.  By Thursday morning you’ll begin to feel a change with drier air and high temperatures only in the upper 70’s.  Friday morning lows may fall into the upper 50’s in some neighborhoods, and high temperatures will only be in the upper 70’s.  The weekend is looking a little warmer and wetter at times with a few showers on Saturday and scattered showers on Sunday. 
  • Four separate shootings over a 24-hour period in Jacksonville has left at least six people wounded and, so far, no arrests have been announced by police.  Early this morning a man was shot on W. 17th Street, near RV Daniels Elementary School.  He was taken to a local hospital with a single gunshot wound to the leg. JSO had no suspect description and was asking for tips to Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.  Just after 10 pm on Tuesday, two young men between the ages of 17 and 20 were shot while sitting in a vehicle on Timmerman Lane. Both shooting victims had non-life-threatening injuries. JSO had no evidence to confirm if this was a drive-by shooting.  Around 5:20 pm on Tuesday, police were called to a shooting on Orton Street, where two men were treated and transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No suspect information was given at the scene by detectives.  On Miss Muffet Lane on the westside just after 6 pm on Tuesday, police responded to reports of shots fired. An off-duty officer was called about a gunshot wound victim at Park West ER. He was taken to Orange Park Medical Center in critical condition.  According to JSO, two groups of people in two separate cars that left the area were being questioned by detectives.  
  • WOKV Washington Insider Jamie Dupree took a short break from covering news on Capitol Hill to receive the Radio Television Digital News Association award for innovation. The national award was the latest mark in what has been a years-long personal battle for Dupree.  Following an illness in 2016, Dupree found himself unable to speak in more than a few words at a time. He eventually received a diagnosis of a rare neurological disorder, tongue protrusion dystonia.  The veteran reporter, who has been staple on WOKV and other Cox Media Group news and talk radio stations, continued to work off the radio by sending stories featuring local lawmakers and writing stories in his Washington Insider Blog.  Then in June of 2018, listeners were able to hear Jamie’s voice once again, as Jamie Dupree 2.0 debuted.  Cox Media Group partnered with Scotland-based tech company CereProc to produce a text-to-speech program that compiles years of Jamie’s actual voice.  “The listeners obviously knew something was very wrong when I disappeared from the radio, and I felt it was important to let them know what was going on – and especially important to let them know that I wasn’t dying,” said Dupree.  The RTDNA said Dupree’s story is innovative not only in multiplatform storytelling, but in the use of technology at the heart of the story.  “Since its initial version, the digital Jamie Dupree 2.0 has been improved to sound more natural and less electronic, and regular listeners have gotten used to it. But not all the feedback has been positive. “In today’s world of social media, I routinely get nasty messages each week from people who celebrate the loss of my voice, tell me that I should lose my job, and more. One of the weirdest things has been the accusations by people that since I lost my real voice, I’ve become biased. I think that’s just a sign of the current political times we are in right now,” said Dupree.”.   Dupree’s condition has not changed much, but he has found ways to innovate in the way he communicated with his wife and kids, as well as colleagues and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  “Yes, I would much rather be able to speak – but it was great to get this kind of recognition for the work done by our company to find a way to keep me on the radio”, said Dupree.  
  • The next phase of a months-long search for a privatization partner for JEA has been reached as nine companies have survived the first cut. The eighth largest government-owned utility received a lot of interest from all kinds of companies, from traditional electric utilities to water companies and more.  JEA winnowed down the list of 16 bidders to nine firms that will now enter months of negotiation. They are: American Public Infrastructure LLC American Water Works Company, Inc. Duke Energy Emera Inc. JEA Public Power Partners: A Consortium of Bernhard Capital Partners, Emera Inc., and Suez IFM Investors PTY LTD Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc. (MIRA Inc.) NextEra Energy Respondent A (Respondent did not consent to release of name) In a statement, JEA said the Chief Procurement Officer reviewed the overall scores of the replies and determined that the nine respondents represented those scoring 75 or more overall points. See the complete scorecard and more of the timeline JEA will take.  There are several different possibilities, but the commonality is removing JEA from the city government structure and putting it in to the hands of community or private ownership. By February a recommendation is expected to be made to the JEA Board, followed by a vote by the full City Council, then finally voters.
  • If you missed seeing Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road performance in March, you have one more chance to see him perform live in Jacksonville.  AEG Global Touring has announced Elton John will perform on June 3rd, 2020 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.  John appeared at a sold-out performance on March 15th, which was believed to his farewell to NE Florida.  The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour consists of more than 300 shows across five continents, ending in 2021.  “Performing live fuels me and I’m ecstatic and humbled to continue to play to audiences across the globe,” said Elton. “I plan to bring the passion and creativity that has entertained my fans for decades to my final tour. After the tour finishes, I’m very much looking forward to closing off that chapter of my life by saying farewell to life on the road. I need to dedicate more time to raising my children.” Tickets for the June 3, 2020 performance go on sale Friday, October 18th at 10am. 
  • Rich Jones

    Host of Jacksonville's Morning News

    Rich Jones has been News Director of WOKV AM/FM since October 2006. Since joining the team, WOKV News has been recognized by the Associated Press as the most awarded radio news team in the state of Florida including awards for Best Newscast, Best Reporting, Best Public Affairs Coverage, and Best News Series, among others.

    Rich has been involved in many organizations and causes on the First Coast. He has twice been captain of WOKV's team at the Heart Walk, and has raised funds for the American Heart Association. 

    Rich is “the face” of WOKV in the community and is the Master of Ceremonies for many philanthropic causes such as the Annual WOKV Careathon, a day-long benefit for the Child Cancer Fund of NE Florida, which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

    Rich enjoys spending his time away from the studio with his wife, daughters and son as well as watching sports and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • FBI toxicology reports ruled out foul play in the deaths of at least three U.S. tourists to the Dominican Republic, the State Department said Friday. >> Read more trending news  The bureau assisted with the toxicology tests of three of at least nine Americans who fell ill and died while visiting the Caribbean destination earlier this year, CNN reported.  Specifically, the FBI determined Nathaniel Holmes, Cynthia Day and Miranda Schaup-Werner each died of natural causes, findings consistent with those of Dominican Republic authorities, USA Today reported. Schaup-Werner, 41, of Pennsylvania, died in May at the Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana, with Dominican authorities attributing her death to a heart attack. Meanwhile, Holmes, 63, and Day, 49, were found dead in their shared hotel room at the Playa Nueva Romana resort. In that case, Dominican authorities ruled the Maryland couple died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, USA Today reported. A State Department official confirmed to CNN that relatives of the deceased have been notified of the FBI results and issued the following statement: “Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time.” USA Today reportedThe test results have also been shared with Dominican authorities and ruled out several potential causes of death for the Maryland couple, including methanol poisoning from tainted alcohol, USA Today reported. 
  • Colorado authorities have arrested a man in connection with the gruesome Thursday morning discovery of an unidentified woman’s body inside a suitcase in a dumpster. >> Read more trending news  Pueblo Police Sgt. Frank Ortega confirmed to KKTV Anthony Cuevas was taken into custody Friday evening and is expected to face a charge of first-degree murder. According to a news release issued by the Pueblo Police Department, Cuevas, 36, also faces a warrant for violating his parole. His wife, Melanie Ann Cuevas, also 36, was arrested on a criminal impersonation warrant. KKTV reported a suspect police now believe was Cuevas was caught on surveillance footage in the area of the dumpster about three hours before the woman’s body was found. In the video, the suspect can be seen taking the suitcase out of the car’s trunk and tossing it into the dumpster. Although the woman’s identity has not been made public, police have confirmed she had a very distinctive clown tattoo and was found wearing a U.S. Air Force T-shirt and M&M candy shorts, KMGH reported. Read more here and here.
  • A suspect is in custody following an early-morning shooting on the Grambling State University campus Friday that left two people, including a police officer, wounded. >> Read more trending news  Princeston Andre Adams, 19, is charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder. Louisiana state troopers arrested the former Grambling student and Shreveport, Louisiana, resident Friday morning, KSLA reported. Louisiana State Police Trooper Michael Reichardt told KNOE the shooting happened at a party outside of the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Reichardt also confirmed the wounded officer was shot in the leg, but his injuries are considered non-life-threatening. The second victim – identified only as a non-student – was shot twice in the torso and remains at North Louisiana Medical Center in Shreveport for treatment of life-threatening injuries, the station reported. Grambling State University President Rick Gallot issued the following statement: “Our goal at Grambling State University is to provide a safe, enjoyable environment for our students. To help in this effort, we will work with our student life and campus safety teams to grow our policies and procedures to better accommodate our student body. Our hearts and prayers go out to those impacted by last night’s events both directly and indirectly. I encourage all of our campus and community to support Louisiana State Police in their investigation by calling (318) 274-2222 with any related information.” Adams’ bond has been set at $1 million, KSLA reported. Original report: Authorities are investigating an early-morning shooting on the Grambling State University campus that left two people injured, including a police officer, KTBS reported. According to a safety update issued by university officials, campus authorities responded around 1:30 a.m. to an indoor firearm discharge at the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Two individuals – including the officer and a non-student – were transported to North Louisiana Medical Center for treatment of injuries. The severity of the injuries suffered was not immediately available. According to KTBS, witnesses told officers on the scene a suspect fled campus following the shooting, and the Louisiana State Police Department will continue investigating. Anyone with any details related to the incident is encouraged to call (318) 274-2222. 
  • Police in Indiana charged a 24-year-old woman with reckless homicide after a crash at a school bus stop in Rochester left three children dead and one severely injured in October 2018. >> Read more trending news Update 9:04 p.m. EDT Oct. 18: Alyssa Shepherd was found guilty Friday of felony reckless homicide in the Oct. 30, 2018 car accident that left Alivia Stahl, 9, and her twin 6-year-old brothers Mason and Xzavier dead and Maverik Lowe severely injured, WNDU reported.  Original report: The children were crossing the street to get to their Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation bus around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday when they were struck by a 2017 Toyota Tacoma driven by Alyssa Shepherd, according to Indiana State Police. Police said that at the time of the crash, the school bus was stopped in front of a mobile home park with its stop arm down and lights flashing. Three Mentone Elementary School students, identified as 6-year-old twins Xzavier Ingle and Mason Ingle and their sister Alivia Stahl, 9, died at the scene. A fourth child, identified as 11-year-old Tippecanoe Valley Middle School student Maverik Lowe, was airlifted to a hospital with multiple broken bones and internal injuries, police said. He was last listed in serious condition. >> 3 children killed, 1 injured while boarding school bus in Indiana “It’s everybody’s responsibility to make sure our children get to and from school safely, and when it doesn’t happen, which it did not in this case, it’s heartbreaking,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum told WSBT. “I haven’t seen troopers cry in a long time, but I saw that today.” Xzavier, Mason and Alivia’s uncle, Elgin Ingle, told WNDU that his family is grappling with the magnitude of their loss. “(My brother) didn’t lose one kid. He lost all of his kids,” Ingle said. “What do you tell your little brother? How do you tell your little brother it's going to get better? You can't.' He described his nephews to WRTV as 'shy at first' but, 'Once you got past the shyness, the two boys were a life spark. They were nonstop, happy, go-fast, jumpy boys.' He said Alivia was a go-getter and 'the kindest child you'll ever meet.' 'My two nephews and my niece were taken from me because somebody didn't pay attention,' Ingle told WRTV. 'How could you look away from the road? Everybody knows buses stop at this time of day.'  Authorities charged Shepherd with three counts of reckless homicide and one count of passing a school bus with the stop arm extended, causing injury. She was booked into Fulton County Jail Tuesday. Police continue to investigate.
  • A Kansas City man has been arrested in the killing Monday of a transgender woman, the second to die in the city so far this year and at least the 20th across the nation, authorities said. The Associated Press reported that Brianna “BB” Hill, 30, also of Kansas City, was shot around 11:30 a.m. Monday. Hill, who went by Breonna Be’Be Hill on Facebook, was dead when officers arrived at the scene. >> Read more trending news Kansas City police Capt. Tim Hernandez told the AP that the alleged shooter, whose name has not been released, remained at the scene and was taken into custody. As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed, the news service said. Hernandez said he could not discuss the motive for the shooting but said it was not related to Hill’s status as a transgender woman, the AP reported. Hill is the second transgender woman killed so far this year in Kansas City, records show. According to the Human Rights Campaign, she is the 21st transgender woman or gender nonconforming person to die by violence across the country in 2019. The Advocate puts the nationwide number of slain transgender women at 20, however, noting some confusion about the gender identity of one victim, Jamagio Jamar Berryman. “Transgender Americans are facing an epidemic of violence,” the Advocate reported, citing 24 known killings of transgender Americans in 2018. The magazine said the number could be higher “as, undoubtedly, some victims were misgendered by police or media, or their deaths not reported at all.” “The majority of victims in any year tracked by The Advocate have been women of color,” the magazine stated. Click here to see a report by the Advocate on all the transgender people killed so far in 2019. Hill, who was black, was killed the day before jury selection was set to begin in Dallas for Edward Dominic Thomas, 29, who is accused of beating another black, transgender woman, Muhlaysia Booker, in April following a fender bender outside an apartment complex in the Oak Cliff section of the city. Booker, whose beating was caught on video, spoke publicly at a rally the week after the assault to call for justice in her case, the AP reported. The 23-year-old was found shot to death May 18 on a Dallas street. Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 33, is charged with murder in the killing and is a suspect in the homicides of two additional women. >> Related story: Suspect arrested in death of transgender Dallas woman and 2 others, police say The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that Thomas’ defense is arguing that Booker, who his attorneys call by her birth name and describe with male pronouns, brought the fight upon herself. Transgender actress and activist Laverne Cox spoke to Buzzfeed earlier this year about the rash of violence against the transgender community. “Your attraction to me as a trans woman is not a reason to kill me,” Cox said in an interview on BuzzFeed News’ Twitter morning show, “AM to DM.” “There’s this whole sort of myth that trans women are out there tricking people, that they deserve to be murdered, and that’s not the case.” Berryman, who also went by Ja’leyah-Jamar Berryman, was killed last month just across the Missouri state line in Kansas City, Kansas. Though area activists initially identified Berryman as a transgender woman, Berryman’s family released a video on social media clarifying that he identified as a gender nonconforming man. Berryman was found shot in the street around 2:30 p.m. Sept. 13 near 60th Street and Leavenworth Road, according to the Kansas City (Kansas) Police Department. Berryman died a short time later at an area hospital. Two days later, investigators released images of a person of interest and a white 2006 Pontiac G6 connected to the case. KMBC reported that the car was found abandoned in Kansas City, Missouri, three days after Berryman was slain. The person of interest, believed to be an ex-boyfriend of Berryman’s, has not been identified by police, the Advocate said. No arrests have been reported in Berryman’s death. Berryman’s cousin posted about his death on Facebook. “Ja’leyah-Jamar didn’t ask for this life,” Adriana Sanders wrote, according to the magazine. “No one can control who they love. God made us to live and love and to grow. It’s not our fault as a transgender woman or a homosexual man to want to live a normal life, wanting to be in love have a family, build your own legacy. “Because a man could not accept who he was as himself and individual, he felt the need to take my cousin’s life.” Berryman’s obituary said he “loved the artistry of designing hair, playing his game, playing with his nieces and nephews, nagging his siblings and spending quality time with his daughter, Ja’mya (Berryman).” Ja’mya was 5 years old when she lost her parent, KSHB in Kansas City reported. “She keeps, like (saying), ‘I want my daddy, where my daddy at?’ And it’s just, like, how do you answer that question to a 5-year-old?' Ronnie Gates, a friend and former longtime boyfriend of Berryman’s, told the news station. Berryman’s mother, along with other family members and friends, mourned Berryman by releasing red and black balloons in his honor three days after his killing. They gathered at the intersection where he was found. His young daughter was pictured sitting quietly on the sidewalk, wearing a backpack and gazing at the balloons near the curb. “That’s Jamar’s baby. She is now without a father,” a family member captioned the photo. “I’ll never be the same,” Berryman’s mother, Jennifer Gibson, told KSHB. “I’ll never be the same.” The Human Rights Campaign, which touts itself as the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, issued a statement following Berryman’s slaying. “This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets trans people of color -- particularly black trans women -- must cease,” read a post on the organization’s Twitter feed. Likewise, HRC officials spoke out this week about Hill’s killing. “Hill, like all of us, had hopes, dreams, aspirations and plans for the future,” HRC spokesperson Elliott Kozuch told Newsweek. “She had family and friends who are mourning this senseless loss, a loss that is part of a larger epidemic of violence against the transgender community in this country, spurred by a toxic mix of transphobia, racism, misogyny and unchecked gun violence.” Kozuch said while the transgender community has protections in employment, housing and public accommodations in Kansas City, there are no state nondiscrimination protections for the marginalized community. Transgender people are also not among the groups covered by Missouri’s hate crimes legislation. According to HRC data, all but five states across the country have laws addressing hate crimes, but the laws vary greatly in who they protect. Fifteen states do not address sexual orientation or gender identity in their hate crime laws, the HRC shows. See the Human Rights Campaign's map of hate crime laws in the U.S. below. Members of the LGBTQ community mourned Hill’s death on social media. “Rest in power, beloved,” one woman wrote on Facebook, adding a broken heart emoji. “Brianna Hill. #SayHerName.” Transgender actress, singer, teacher and activist Alexandra Billings also spoke out about Hill and every other transgender woman who has been killed or faces violence for who they are. “My sisters, I see you,” Billings wrote on Facebook. “I am with you because I am one of you, and we will survive this. Our government will not continue to ignore us, and our allies will speak up. We will revolt and we will rise. We are made of sturdy stuff. We have lived through the centuries and it will take more than a few violent men to eradicate us from the human experience. “We are part of this world and we deserve to be here. We will not let this stand.” Besides the death of Berryman, Hill’s slaying in Kansas City also comes on the heels of the June 25 killing of Brooklyn Lindsey, 32, who was found dead on the porch of an abandoned home on Spruce Avenue, court records show. She died of multiple gunshot wounds. Neighbors, who didn’t identify themselves out of fear of retaliation, told KCTV Lindsey had been badly beaten before they heard the gunshots that killed her. According to court records, investigators recovered five shell casings from around Lindsey’s body and tested the casings for DNA evidence. A profile was obtained and entered into CODIS, the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, which matched the genetic material to Marcus S. Lewis. Investigators learned that Lewis was in a relationship with the owner of a black Chevy Impala. The car was spotted by license plate readers driving in the area of the shooting around the time that the Kansas City Police Department received a report of shots fired about four blocks from where Lindsey’s body was found. Read the probable cause statement in the Brooklyn Lindsey slaying below. Charging Document in Brooklyn Lindsey Homicide by National Content Desk on Scribd Lewis, 41, was arrested in July and indicted last month on charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm, court records show. Court records, which identify Lindsey as male and by her given name instead of her chosen one, show that Lewis told detectives he shot Lindsey after she propositioned him, “attempting to solicit a date,” and would not leave him alone after he declined her advances. He said he sold the gun, which he had bought earlier in the day, to an unknown person after the homicide. “l believe that Marcus Lewis poses a danger to the community or to any other persons because he is a habitual unregistered sex offender,” Detective Ryan Taylor wrote in a probable cause statement. “He is under investigation for aggravated domestic violence involving a firearm and an armed business robbery involving a firearm.” Court records indicate Lewis has also been indicted in that case. He remained in the Jackson County Jail Friday, awaiting trial. The unlawful firearm possession charge stems from Lewis’ April 1998 conviction of first-degree statutory rape, a felony in Missouri. As a convicted felon, he is not permitted to have a firearm. Lindsey was described by friends as an activist who worked with organizations like the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project. The organization spoke out last month after Berryman’s death. “As we hold space to remember and uplift Ja’Leyah, we must also recognize the factors at play that contribute to the dramatically increased risk of violence that trans women of color, especially black trans women, face every day,” a post on the group’s Facebook page read. “Restrictions on basic needs and services like housing, employment, safe streets, healthcare and protection under the law are just some barriers that put our sisters in harm’s way daily. “The discriminatory and violent systems that perpetuate violence against transgender women of color are a direct result of bias from within and outside our own communities. Ja’leyah’s light shone to a select few, but we will let her light shine on all of us today.” Kris Wade, with the Justice Project Kansas City, told CNN she knew Lindsey well and had helped her for more than a decade. She described Lindsey as a “sweetheart,” and an intelligent woman who did not come from the streets, but sometimes ended up there. “She felt that she had not lost her humanity out there,” Wade told CNN. Wade said Lindsey, who had been brutally beaten and hospitalized just weeks before her death, needed to get off the street, but Justice Project was unable to find her a bed. “We didn’t have any money to put her up,” Wade said. Lindsey died at the same intersection where a Hispanic transgender woman, Tamara Dominguez, 36, was run over and killed Aug. 15, 2015. The driver of the truck, Luis Sanchez, ran over Dominguez repeatedly, according to witnesses. Members of the LGBTQ community condemned the “atrocious” act in the days after Dominguez’s death. “There’s this horrible dark underbelly of hatred that goes on and on and on and on and it must stop,” Caroline Gibbs, director of the Transgender Institute of Kansas City, told KCTV at the time. Dominguez’s brother, Alberto Dominguez, spoke to the news station through a friend, Juan Rendon, who translated his Spanish to English. “He just want to say to the person that did that to her, that he (Alberto) would forgive them for what he did to her,” Rendon translated as Dominguez started to cry, the news station reported. “We are not here to judge nobody, and he (Alberto) hopes that person really feels bad for what he did.” Sanchez, who was initially charged with murder, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in December 2018 and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Now 31, he is serving his sentence at the Jefferson City Correctional Center, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections. Tamara Dominguez was loved, her brother told KCTV. “He doesn’t know she has family. She had her mom. She had her nephews, brothers and sisters. That person didn’t think about what he did,” Rendon translated.

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