Maryland Man Found Guilty In Killing Of Transgender Woman

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man has been found guilty of fatally shooting a transgender woman near a shopping mall nearly two years ago.

Media outlets report 22-year-old Rico LeBlond of Germantown was convicted of first-degree murder Tuesday in the killing of Zella Ziona. Police say the two had known each other for years.

Ziona was 21 and had transitioned from male to female in the months before she was shot a service alley behind a Gaithersburg mall.

Authorities have said LeBlond was embarrassed when Ziona flirted with him in front of friends. They say she was lured into the alley and LeBlond shot her several times.

LeBlond’s first trial ended in a mistrial in January. His attorney has argued that several witnesses have given different accounts of how Ziona died.

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