Andrew Vrba, 21, was found guilty of murder in the first degree for killing transgender teen Ally Steinfeld, 17, in 2017. The judge said while announcing his verdict Friday that there was no evidence that Vrba murdered Steinfeld because of her being transgender.
The offense of murder in the first degree is a class A felony, and, if a person is eighteen years of age or older at the time of the offense, the punishment, under Missouri law shall be either death or imprisonment for life without eligibility for probation or parole, or release except by act of the governor.
The sentencing phase of the trial will take place at a later date.
Vrba who was 18 at the time of her murder was charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and abandonment of a corpse. Verba was the fourth person determined to be culpable in the death.
The defense asked on August 6, the last day of testimony that the charge of first-degree murder be reduced to second-degree murder citing Vrba’s alleged learning disability and his age at the time of the murder which was two months past his 18th birthday.
Testimony by Vrba’s there confessed accompishes accuse him of wrapping her body in a sleeping bag and rope, burning her for more than two days, putting the remains in a plastic bag, and placing the bag in an old chicken coop. The defense disputed the accusation that Verba gouged her eyes out and mutilated her body after her death saying that dogs most likely did that.