Mark Daniel Lewis, 20 has been released after a probation revocation hearing exonerated him of murdering transgender woman Kenne McFadden, 24 who was found dead in the San Antonio River on April 9th, 2017.
The Texas transgender community already upset over the prosecutors bungling of the case are incensed over the judges transphobic ruling clearing Lewis after a grand jury indicted him for murder.
The indictment alleged Lewis “did recklessly cause the death” of McFadden by “pushing” or “causing the complainant to enter into a body of water, or by knowing that the complainant was impaired by alcohol, failing to assist the complainant from the body of water, which acts and omissions caused the complainant’s death,” the indictment states.
MySanAntonio reports that a judge issued a ruling Thursday that will prevent a manslaughter trial of the man accused of causing the drowning of a transgender woman along the River Walk last year after prosecutors opted to present their evidence in the case at a probation revocation hearing.
The accused, Mark Daniel Lewis, 20, of Live Oak, was on probation for failing to register as a sex offender and prosecutors sought to use the manslaughter accusation to revoke it. State District Judge Joey Contreras, after a hearing that effectively amounted to a bench trial of the manslaughter case, ruled that Lewis’ actions in the death of Kenne McFadden, 26, did not rise to the level of criminal conduct.
“I think this is a terrible tragedy that occurred,” Contreras said of the drowning before deciding it was “not true” that Lewis had violated the terms of his probation.
Lewis now cannot be tried for manslaughter because of the double jeopardy rule, Assistant District Attorney Jason Goss said. Revoking probation only requires a preponderance of the evidence to prove a defendant violated its terms, a lower standard than in criminal proceedings, which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Did Contreras a longtime San Antonio federal prosecutor just recently sworn in as Judge use his position of power to express his disregard for transgender life?
San Antonio Gender Association, The Pride Center San Antonio and Transgender Education Network of Texas are hosting a protest on March 13th say that this injustice will not be forgotten.
The Facebook event page Justice for Kenne! states that “Transgender WOC and Black Trans women are being murdered at an alarming pace. When this happens in our city we expect to see justice served. We demand justice for Kenne! We refuse to go away and will show up to make our voices heard!”
“Today (3/8) Judge Joey Contreras of the 187th criminal district court ruled today that Kenne McFadden would not see justice due to insufficient proof of criminal wrongdoing. Kenne was poorly represented by DA Nico LaHood’s office and we will not let this be forgotten. The case was thrown out because of the double jeopardy.”
Vote Joey Contreras out!
Joey Contreras a Republican judge for the 187th District Court in Bexar County, Texas was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on October 25, 2017, to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Steve Hilbig.
The runoff vote will be held on May 22, 2018. San Antonio, it’s your chance to get some sense of closure. Vote Joey Contreras out.