SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Springfield man has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a transgender woman, Greene County officials said Friday.
Charles Nelson, 28, was arrested after the body of Dominique Lucious, 26, was found at an apartment Thursday.
Court documents say Nelson and Lucious met on an online dating website and planned to meet Thursday morning at the apartment.
Witnesses said Nelson fit the description of a man who was seen driving away from the apartment after gunshots were heard.
Nelson is being held in the Greene County Jail without bond. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.
“Trans women, particularly trans women of color, are disproportionately victims of violent crime," the GLO Center in Springfield, which provides services and advocacy for LGBTQ people, said in a statement. "This murder and the other senseless slaying of trans folks must be contextualized within the anti-trans rhetoric and actions taken by too many. It is 2021 and we must understand that trans rights are human rights.”
Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, who represents Greene County, also issued a statement regarding Lucious' murder:
The life of Dominique Lucious, cut tragically short, matters. Dominique's friends and family are in my prayers.
Trans Missourians, especially trans women of color, are disproportionately victims of violent crime for simply existing. This is a sad, unacceptable, fact in 2021. We must do better by our trans and non-binary communities.
Anti-trans rhetoric fuels this violence and legislation targeting the trans and non-binary communities continues to be pushed by groups who dismiss the damages and dangers their ideology helps cultivate.
Missouri should be a place where anybody can be their true self, without fear of violence or bigotry.
We have far to go to ensure Missouri is a safe and welcoming place for every person, no matter how they identify, to call home.
The charges come on the same day the Kansas Senate approved a measure to ban transgender athletes from participating in school sports in the state.
The Missouri legislature is considering a similar bill.
Kansas and Missouri are among 17 states considering transgender athlete bans during the current legislative term, according to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
41 Action News Digital Content Producer Tod Palmer contributed to this report.