Detroit man to be tried in transgender woman's shooting

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Deonton Rogers, 29.

A 29-year-old Detroit man will stand trial for ethnic intimidation based on gender, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday.

Officials said the case is the state's first gender bias hate crime case involving a transgender woman who was assaulted because of her gender identity.

Deonton A. Rogers is accused of shooting her at a gas station on the city's west side at 8:05 p.m. July 23, according to authorities.

Read moreSuspect arraigned in shooting of transgender woman

A district court judge this week bound Rogers over for trial in Wayne County Circuit Court, the prosecutor's office said. Rogers is scheduled to be arraigned in the court on Monday.

He faces a charge of ethnic intimidation based on gender as well as several other charges, including 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 and a felony firearm violation.

The ethnic intimidation charge is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison.

Authorities accuse Rogers of entering a Mobil gas station on the 15400 block of West Seven Mile, approaching a 29-year-old transgender woman and making a lewd remark to her.

After the victim informed him she was a transgender woman, he engaged in an verbal argument with her about her sexual orientation until Rogers allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband, police said.

As the victim struggled with him over the weapon, Rogers shot her in the shoulder, according to authorities.   

Rogers fled the scene in his car leaving his 27-year-old companion at the station, but her child remained in the rear of the car. The child was later found unharmed, officials said.

Officials with the prosecutor's office said the case has been assigned to to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz with the Fair Michigan Justice Project, a program that helps Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors solve serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez