Dorchester Trans woman one of two women stabbed to death Sunday

Jahaira DeAlto
Jahaira DeAlto / Elizabeth Freeman Center

On Sunday Transgender woman Jahaira DeAlto, 42, was murdered at her home in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Jahaira DeAlto was hosting Marcus Chavis and his family when Chavis killed her and his wife, Fatima Yasin, while also stabbing a dog, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. They haven’t determined a motive for the attack.

The man accused of killing 28-year-old Fatima Yasin and 42-year-old transgender woman Jahaira DeAlto was ordered held without bail Monday, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a press release.

Marcus Chavis
Marcus Chavis (center)

MARCUS CHAVIS, 35, of Dorchester was arraigned today in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court on two counts of murder and one count of animal cruelty. At the request of District Attorney Ian Polumbaum, Judge Thomas Kaplanes ordered Mr. Chavis held without bail.

ADA Polumbaum, Chief of District Attorney Rollins’ Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, told the court that Mr. Chavis called 911 shortly before 12:30 p.m. Sunday and allegedly reported that he had stabbed his wife. Responding officers arrived at the Taft Street building where Mr. Chavis, Ms. Yasin and two children resided with Ms. DeAlto and encountered Mr. Chavis in the front entrance. His clothing had blood on it, prosecutors said. Inside the apartment, officers were met by the two young children, who were present in the home at the time of the murders.

The officers located Ms. Yasin and Ms. DeAlto in separate bedrooms, each suffering from serious stab wounds to the neck. Tragically, both victims succumbed to their injuries. A dog with a stab wound was also located in the same bedroom as Ms. DeAlto and taken to MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center for treatment.

The children who were present were physically uninjured and are currently safe and being cared for.

The Elizabeth Freeman Center, a support center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault where Jahaira DeAlto worked, told NBC 10 Boston that she was “an activist and survivor who touched the lives of everyone around her with her passion, drive, humanity, humor, and fierce vision”

“My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the two women whose lives were violently stolen,” District Attorney Rollins said. “Staff assigned to my office’s Victim Witness Assistance Program have been in contact with the victims’ families to extend our condolences and to provide ongoing support and resources, especially for the children whose lives have been forever changed. We have also reached out to stakeholders within Boston’s transgender community, which Ms. DeAlto was dedicated to elevating. We are here to support the families, individuals and communities impacted by Ms. DeAlto and Ms. Yasin’s murders as they begin their long journey toward healing,” District Attorney Rollins said.

The victims of any crime, including domestic violence, should call 911 in an emergency. SafeLink, a statewide domestic violence hotline, can be reached at 877-785-2020. SafeLink is answered by trained advocates 24 hours a day in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as TTY at 877-521-2601. It also has the capacity to provide multilingual translation in more than 140 languages.

Help is also available for members of our LGTBQ+ community experiencing domestic or intimate partner violence through The Network/La Red by calling 617-742-4911 or 800-832-1901. Transgender individuals living in Massachusetts who are in immediate need of critical financial assistance can apply for assistance from the Transgender Emergency Fund at

Rest in Peace Jahaira DeAlto

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender