Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A Van Nuys killer convicted of stabbing his live-in transgender woman partner and then setting their room on fire was sentenced Thursday to 12 years and eight months in state prison.

“Outraged” members of the area’s gay, lesbian and transgender community and other supporters held a vigil for the victim in Van Nuys Sunday night.

“The National LGBTQ Task Force is outraged by the ongoing murders of transgender women taking place all across the county,” said task force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper. “Three transgender women of color have been killed in the last four months in Los Angeles and there seems to be no end in sight to these tragic homicides.”

Ezekiel Jamal Dear, 27, was found guilty Oct. 19 of one count each of voluntary manslaughter with a knife use allegation and unlawfully causing a fire.

Jurors acquitted him of the more serious charge of murder.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office identified the victim only as `Yazmin Michael P. Police had said earlier that the victim was known as Yazmin Payne and that she had previously been known as Michael Vash Payne.

Dear fatally stabbed his live-in partner during a dispute and then set the bedroom on fire on Jan. 31, 2015, according to testimony presented during his trial.

Firefighters were dispatched just after 5 a.m. that morning to the 14600 block of Saticoy Street, made entry and quickly put out a small fire in the rear bedroom of the apartment. The 33-year-old victim was found lying on the floor of the kitchen, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.

She had suffered multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives were able to recover the murder weapon inside the residence, according to police.

Dear surrendered the following afternoon at the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Station, and has remained behind bars since then.

Members of the area’s gay, lesbian and transgender community and other supporters held a vigil for Payne in Van Nuys Sunday night.

“The National LGBTQ Task Force is outraged by the ongoing murders of transgender women taking place all across the county,” said task force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper. “Three transgender women of color have been killed in the last four months in Los Angeles and there seems to be no end in sight to these tragic homicides.”

[symple_googlemap title=”14600 block of Saticoy Street” location=”14600 block of Saticoy Street” height=”300″ zoom=”15″]

–City News Service 

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