Photo by Gustavo Castillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Gustavo Castillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A 30-year-old man was in custody Thursday on suspicion of fatally shooting a transgender woman in the Chesterfield Square area of South Los Angeles.

Robert James Spells of Inglewood was arrested at 4 p.m. Wednesday at a relative’s home in Los Angeles in connection with the killing of Deshawnda Sanchez in the 6100 block of South Wilton Place on Dec. 3, police said.

Spells was identified as a suspect by Los Angeles police criminal gang homicide detectives. The Operation South Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force has also identified Spells as the suspect in an act of human trafficking that involved an 11-year-old girl and occurred Feb. 8.

Sanchez, 21, had called for assistance around 4 a.m. on Dec. 3, saying she had been assaulted and robbed. While on the phone, she said the suspect had returned, and shots were then heard.

Sanchez died at the scene, the front porch of a residence. She did not live at the residence.

Three members of the LAPD’s Criminal Gang Homicide Division plan to hold a news conference at the department’s 77th Street Station beginning at 10 this morning to provide details on the case. Members of the victim’s family also will be there.

—City News Service

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