A man has been charged in the killing of Cashay Henderson, a black transgender woman who was found dead in her apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 26.
The Milwaukee Fire Department was responding to a fire in her apartment she was found unconscious with a gunshot wound, according to a criminal complaint. The 31-year-old was discovered after the fire was extinguished and the apartment was vented.
The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to her head and neck, and the manner of death has ruled a homicide, according to the autopsy. Officials said the cause of the fire was arson.
Who is Cordell M Howze?
Cordell M Howze was charged with first-degree reckless homicide, habitual criminality repeater, and use of a dangerous weapon including possession of a firearm by a felon. He is 33 years old and lives in Neenah, Wisconsin.
If convicted, Howze could face up to 85 years in prison and could be fined up to $25,000, officials say.
“His arrest represents one step forward in delivering justice to Cashay and reassuring the community, especially the LGBTQIA+ community, that MPD is committed to serving all persons inclusively,” the Milwaukee Police Department said in a statement.
“The Milwaukee Police Department sends our condolences to Cashay’s family and loved ones, the LGBTQIA+ community, and all members of the public that were impacted by this tragic incident,” it added.
Howze had been in jail until two days before Henderson’s death. He was arrested in Winnebago County on January 28 for violating the terms of his extended supervision from a prior felony conviction. He had fled from the police the day before. He was released on February 24. Winnebago county prosecutors filed charges on February 27 in connection with his flight.
Howze appeared in court in Milwaukee on Sunday and his attorney said he may not be competent to stand trial. He will undergo a competency evaluation and will be in court for a review of it on March 20.