Defendant in murder of trans woman pleads guilty

Defendant in murder of trans woman pleads guilty

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A defendant in the February 2016 murder of a transgender woman pleaded guilty to three charges Thursday in a deferred-sentence agreement. Tiffany Floyd pleaded guilty to third degree murder, conspiracy to commit third degree murder and the possession of a weapon with criminal intent in regard to the murder of Maya Young. 

Floyd's final sentence will be delivered at 9 a.m. Nov. 8 in Room 1105 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St. Assistant District Attorney Gwenn Cujdik confirmed Floyd will not be able to withdraw her guilty plea during this time. The defendant is facing up to 85 years in prison and a fine up to $85,000.

Until then, Floyd will undergo a pre-sentence investigation, where the court will compile information about her work history, education, family history and other background information.

Additionally, she will also take part in a mental-health evaluation, which will determine if she has any mental-health issues the court should be aware of for sentencing purposes. During the hearing, Floyd said she takes medication for bipolar disorder and anxiety. 

While representing Floyd in the court hearing, defense attorney Dan Stevenson said her co-defendant, Jose Pena, holds more blame for Young's death.

"Ms. Floyd struck the first blow but not the death blow," Stevenson said.

In previous court statements, Floyd said she asked Pena for help in killing Young, whom she said used "voodoo" to "cast a spell" on her boyfriend. Pena's statement contended he and Floyd met Young at a park where the two women smoked crack. According to Pena, Floyd stabbed Young with a knife. Floyd and Pena pursued the victim as she "ran for her life," according to Cujdik.

Cujdik confirmed a witness identified Floyd as she was pursuing Young. According to Cujdik, Floyd asked the witness, "Where the f*ck is Littles?," referencing a nickname Floyd used for Young.

Pena said Floyd stabbed Young and said she would have him killed if he did not “finish” her.

“It was my life or hers,” Pena said in the statement. 

Cujdik confirmed Pena's final blow, which killed Young, was captured on video.

Pena was offered a plea agreement but elected to stand trial, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 21 in Room 607 of the CJC, before Judge Sandy L.V. Byrd. Additionally, he will also stand trial for the murder of Jonathan Martel in a proceeding scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 18 in Room 1007. ADA Guy D'Andrea, who is prosecuting the latter case, told PGN last month that evidence collected in the Young investigation helped his case.

“The arrest for the murder of Maya gave us some additional information about my murder [case], which helped give us a stronger warrant, so to speak, to arrest him on this murder,” D’Andrea said.

D'Andrea declined to go into further details about the evidence.

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