Prosecutor: Detroit's 2nd murder of transgender woman in a month 'beyond concerning'

Kara Berg
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Detroit man has been charged with the fatal shooting of a transgender woman, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, the second alleged murder of a transgender woman in less than a month. 

Deontae Close, 31, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of 33-year-old Dede Ricks of Ohio. 

Deontae Close

Hayden Davis, 28, was killed in Detroit in late July. 

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy called the murders "beyond concerning." 

"We have seen this happen before and hope that this does not become a pattern," Worthy said in a statement. "While some protections for transgender citizens in Michigan are finally beginning to be recognized, their lives are still very much in danger."

Dede Ricks

Ricks was found dead at 3:39 a.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of Manistique Street in Detroit, according to the prosecutor's office. She was unresponsive when officers arrived and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Close was arrested Saturday and arraigned Tuesday. His bond was set at $500,000. 

"The fact that we have seen two homicides of transgender women in just three weeks shows the danger this community faces," Fair Michigan President Alanna Maguire said in a statement. "Rather than being supported, we often hear people vilify the transgender community which fuels this kind of violence and hate.  We are proud to work with Prosecutor Worthy's office on these cases, and we hope to bring justice to the victims and their families."