A Los Angeles man was sentenced Monday to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of a 33-year-old transgender woman he met online and stabbed in the back before setting her Pico-Union apartment on fire.
Kevyn Ramirez, 32, had pleaded no contest to killing Victoria Ramos Gutierrez, along with a charge of arson, in a case which could have carried a death sentence. Los Angeles Superior Judge Craig Mitchell ordered a separate eight-year sentence on the arson count to run concurrently.
Gutierrez was killed Jan. 10, 2018, inside a two-story, multi-unit home at 1711 S. New Hampshire Ave., between Venice and Washington boulevards. Ramirez was arrested the following evening.
The criminal complaint included special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of an attempted first-degree robbery, as well as allegations of use of a deadly weapon, arson of multiple structures and use of an accelerant.
It took five dozen firefighters 48 minutes to extinguish heavy flames on the second floor of the building where Gutierrez was found and pronounced dead.
Gutierrez, who went by Viccky, was active in the transgender community. A program manager at the Los Angeles LGBT Center told the Los Angeles Times that Gutierrez had worked on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors transgender victims of violence.
“It’s ironic that she ended up being a victim also,” Mariana Marroquin told the newspaper in the days following the killing.
Gutierrez was the first transgender woman of color and the second transgender person to die in 2018 as a result of violence, and one of at least 26 such deaths before that year was out, according to a report by the Human Rights Campaign.
A childhood friend identified only as Cristy told Vice News that she and Gutierrez had been planning to move to Utah.
“She wanted a change because the life here was too crowded, too fast, and she wanted something more relaxed,” she told Vice.
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