On December 3, 2014, Deshawnda “Ta-Ta” Sanchez, a transgender woman, was trying to run to safety after she was robbed and assaulted. Sanchez was shot and killed by Robert James Spells after dialing 911 when he assaulted her. This week ,Spells was convicted of capital murder for Sanchez’s death and turns out he was also soliciting an 11-year-old girl into prostitution and he will also be charged for this heinous crime.
Spells is facing a total of 30 years to life without parole for capital murder, second-degree robbery and “offering [a] child to men for sex and aggravated sexual assault of a child.” The Los Angeles Times spoke to members of the LAPD and Sanchez’s family and friends, it was insinuated that Sanchez was killed because of her LGBTQi identity. Spells and Sanchez also knew each other.
Detective Chris Barling said, “In this case, it is not clear-cut. I think hate was used by Mr. Spells in killing Deshawnda.” The possibility remains that her death could be listed as a hate crime. She was only 21-years-old and had aspirations of becoming a doctor. She’s since been laid to rest since December 19.
Not a lot of information has been released regarding the child prostitution possibly because of her age, but the unnamed girl was reportedly trafficked by Spells between the dates of February 7 through the 16. Her whereabouts and safety are also unknown at this time. AWFUL!