DETROIT, MI – On August 13, 2018, Judge William McConico of the Michigan 36th District Court bound over Deonton Rogers, 29-years-old, of Detroit, for trial.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, with the assistance of the Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP), charged Rogers with discharging a firearm in a building causing serious injury, discharging a firearm in a building causing serious impairment of a bodily function, felonious assault, felon in possession of a firearm, fourth-degree child abuse, ethnic intimidation based on gender, and a felony firearms violation.
Rogers was bound over to the 3 rd Circuit Court on all counts.
The Prosecutor’s Office assigned the case to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz of the FMJP, which is a collaboration between the Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Michigan Foundation, Inc. FMJP is a program that assists Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons. This is the first gender bias hate crime case in Michigan involving a transgender woman who was assaulted based on her gender identity.
Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel said, “The Ethnic Intimidation Act – Michigan’s hate-crime law – penalizes hate crimes committed because of a victim’s gender. Judge McConico decided that a hate crime against a transgender person because she is transgender falls within the scope of the law. Fair Michigan instituted the Justice Project to provide the LGBTQ community with this kind of strong advocacy in the criminal justice system.” With the number of documented hate crimes rising, Nessel noted, “We are committed to using every available means to seek justice for persons who have been victims of these despicable acts.”
It is alleged that, on July 23, 2018, Rogers approached a transgender woman inside a Detroit gas station and made a crude remark. When the woman told Rogers she is transgender, they got into an argument about gender identity. Rogers is accused of pulling out a gun during the argument. The woman struggled with him over the weapon, and she was shot in the shoulder. An investigation by Detroit Police officers led to Rogers’ arrest. Rogers will be arraigned in the 3rd Circuit Court on August 20, 2018.