2 charged with shooting trans woman face life
Detroit — Two Detroit men accused of shooting and robbing a transgender woman Friday were formally charged with the crime in court.
Charles Marion Brown, 21, and Julian Alexon Williams, 19, were arraigned Monday on several charges in 36th District Court in Detroit via video.
A judge ordered each of the two men held on $1.5 million bond and scheduled their next court date for Nov. 28.
Brown was charged with assault with intent to commit murder, armed robbery, use of a firearm in connection with a felony, felon in possession of a firearm and being a habitual offender.
Williams is charged with armed robbery resulting in serious injury, armed robbery, use of a firearm in connection with a felony, felon in possession of a firearm, and being a habitual offender.
Both men face up to life in prison because of their previous convictions, officials said.
Brown is on probation for being convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections. He was sentenced in October to three years of probation.
Meanwhile, Williams is a probation absconder who was convicted of second-degree home invasion. He was sentenced to two years probation in October.
On Monday, the two men spoke only to answer the judge's questions about whether they understood the charges against them and their rights.
Shawn Desai, a Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney, spoke during the arraignment about potential bonds for the defendants and said the men attacked the victim because she was a transgender woman.
"This crime seems to have been motivated by the victim's status as a transgender individual," Desai said. "This is an extremely violent crime motivated by a bias and hatred."
He also said the men were a threat to society in general.
"These men have shown an absolute disregard for human life and they have demonstrated a hatred and bias," he said. "They are not only a danger to the people of Detroit but to the transgender community."
Police said the men shot and seriously wounded a 36-year-old transgender woman at about 1:50 a.m. Friday.
They said the men jumped out of a red GMC Yukon on the 17800 block of Woodward and told the victim to drop everything and run.
When the victim complied, dropping her purse and running, police say Brown used a semi-automatic rifle to fire five shots at the woman. Three bullets struck her, police say.
Detroit police gave chase as the men fled in the Yukon. Officers were able to arrest Williams when the Yukon jumped a curb and struck a concrete barrier near Russell and Canfield. Brown escaped on foot but was arrested Saturday.
"This is a totally deplorable act of violence in which the victim was fleeing and attempted to comply (with their demands) and was gunned down," Desai said.