Man pleads guilty in shooting of transgender prostitute

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A 27-year-old Detroit man charged in the shooting of a transgender prostitute in January has pled guilty, the Fair Michigan Justice Project announced Thursday.

Jason L. Hogan pled guilty on Wednesday to two charges, court records show: assault with intent to commit murder, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He will be sentenced on May 17 before Judge Paul Cusick in Wayne County Circuit Court.

On Jan. 13, Hogan sought the services of a transgender woman prostitute in the area of Palmer Park, on Woodward, confirmed Officer Jennifer Moreno, a Detroit Police Department spokeswoman.

He picked the 31-year-old up in a black Jeep and stopped at an ATM at the Sunoco Gas Station on the 16200 block of Oakland to pull out $60, according to the transcript of a court proceeding in the case. From that money, the woman bought crack and a crack pipe that the two could share.

With the drugs obtained, Hogan drove the pair to the back of Michael's liquor store, on the 17900 block of Nevada, a spot the victim testified she chose because she'd taken clients there before. The two had to move a baby seat in the car before performing sex acts, according to the transcript.

Then he shot the woman in the face with the handgun, the transcript read.

Three shots were fired. The first shot hit the victim in the left side of her nose. The victim heard the gunshot and saw blood before she felt pain.

According to the victim's account, Hogan began blaming the shooting on him being drunk, and said he wanted to kill himself. Eventually, he said: "I'm going to give you 'til (the count of) 10 to leave."

But the victim didn't want to leave immediately, for fear that she'd be shot in the back of the head as soon as she turned around. It was only when Hogan put the gun down, and the victim was able to hold his arms down, that she was able to make her escape.

"I finally get a hold of the lock without looking, opened the door and then I just jet out the car. My pants is down, my coat is in the car. I left my coat. I left the pipe, the crack pipe with some dope in there, all that stuff. I just left all that," the victim testified.

The victim ran back onto John R., hoping to flag someone down, but no one stopped to help. She doubled back to the crack house, but was told to leave, because she'd come to the house bleeding.

In the end, "some guy that I decide to beg that left the crack house" finally gave her a ride to Sinai Grace Hospital, but only after the victim "offered to buy him some rocks to drop me off."

Detroit Police Department followed up and made the arrest. The Fair Michigan Justice Project, a public-private partnership between the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Fair Michigan Foundation, handled the prosecution. Since the project was announced in July 2016, it has brought charges in 13 cases, secured eight convictions, and five cases are making their way through the system, said Dana Nessel, president of the Fair Michigan Justice Project.

In an interview with The News, Nessel said it was “very clear” that Hogan “solicited (the victim’s) services because she was a transgender woman.” She continued: “They discussed specific sex acts that could only be performed on a man or a transgender woman.”

Months after the shooting, Nessel said, based on the woman’s ability to appear and testify in court: “She seems as though she’s recovered from her injuries. She had no difficulty speaking, and was lucky the shot didn’t do a great deal more damage.”