Prosecutors: Teen had sexual relationship with trans woman he allegedly shot

A 17-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting a transgender woman last year in a secluded area on the South Side was ordered held without bail Sunday.

Tremon T. Hill was charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 13 slaying of Dejanay Stanton, a 24-year-old trans woman escort he was in a sexual relationship with, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Stanton received a text from Hill the morning of her killing asking her to meet him in a lot in the 4000 block of South Calumet Avenue in Bronzeville, Assistant State’s Attorney Britt Steinberg said at a bail hearing Sunday in the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Just after 11 a.m., Hill is alleged to have shot Stanton in the head and left her laying on the ground outside of her car, which was left with its doors open and a purse and cellphone inside, according to Steinberg. Police responded to a ShotSpotter alert at that location and found Stanton, who died minutes later, Steinberg said.

Text messages between Hill and Stanton revealed that their alleged sexual relationship began in July, when they arranged to meet at a South Side hotel, Steinberg said.

The pair continued communicating, sending each other more than 400 messages, in which Hill allegedly expressed he was interested in having sex with Stanton but not with a transgender person, Steinberg said.

Over multiple texts, Hill urged Stanton to delete photos of him from her phone, which she later did, Steinberg said. Hill also told Stanton that their sexual relationship had caused him to become suicidal, Steinberg said.

Officers executed a search warrant at Hill’s home and found pants with “small red stains” and other clothing that matched what surveillance video showed Hill was wearing the day of the murder, Steinberg said.

Hill’s public defender said that cellphone records served as the only evidence, and that there was no surveillance video of the murder.

Judge Mary C. Marubio ordered Hill held without bail after saying she took into consideration the extensive electronic evidence including the ShotSpotter alert, the tracking of his movement from cell towers and that he stopped texting Stanton at the time of the murder.

Hill, who was charged as an adult and had no publishable criminal history, was scheduled for a review of his bail Monday.

Stanton’s murder drew public attention last year to violence against transgender women of color.

Terry Jones, a 25-year-old who was close friends with Stanton, said her brutal killing “was a shock” during an interview last year with the Sun-Times.

“Everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality, knew her,” Jones said. “She was loved and never did nothing to nobody.”

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