Man charged with murdering trans girlfriend claims he stabbed her in self-defence

A Chicago man charged with the murder of a trans woman he was in a relationship with has claimed he acted in self-defence.

Warning – violence.

Daniel Burley, 31, was charged with first-degree murder after allegedly stabbing his girlfriend Martasia Richmond to death on 11 July.

Responding to a call of domestic battery, officers discovered 30-year-old Richmond with multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest. Authorities pronounced her dead at the scene, with police claiming witnesses were uncooperative.

Burley turned himself in to a local Chicago police department two days later.

Appearing before a bond court on 15 July, Burley’s lawyer claimed that he stabbed Richmond during an argument, and that he acted in self-defence.

The defence claimed Burley had previously taken out a protection order against the victim, after an attempted break-in at his residence, according to the Chicago Journal.

After the stabbing, Burley called 911 and said he and Richmond had been playing with knives when there was an argument and a fight.

Richmond, who had been with Burley for five years, was reportedly heard in the call saying: “You stabbed me… you killed me.” Dispatchers attempted to call back but received no response after several attempts.

The court was told a neighbour’s security camera showed Burley hiding a bloodied knife in a sewer grate in an alley behind the home, in between the phone calls made to police dispatchers.

Burley’s lawyer painted these as the actions of a man who was terrified. He has been held without bail.

Human Rights Campaign director of community engagement for the transgender justice initiative Tori Cooper was among those to mourn Richmond’s death.

“It is evident in the countless tributes from friends that Martasia Richmond was well-loved and taken from us far too soon” Cooper said.

“At 30 years old, she should have decades ahead of her to spend with those she loved.”

“Her death was not only unjust but part of an alarming trend of anti-transgender violence in Chicago and this country at-large. More must be done to protect Black transgender women and the entire transgender and gender non-conforming community,” Cooper continued.

The HRC reported Richmond is at least the third Black trans woman to be killed in Chicago this year alone and at least the 20th trans person to be killed in the US in 2022.

In 2022, the community has also mourned: Amariey Lej, Duval PrincessCypress RamosNaomie SkinnerMatthew Angelo SpampinatoPaloma VazquezTatiana LabelleKathryn “Katie” NewhouseKenyatta “Kesha” WebsterMiia Love ParkerFern FeatherAriyanna MitchellRaymond “Ray” MuscatNedra Sequence Morris, ​​Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway, Sasha MasonBrazil Johnson, Shawmaynè Giselle Marie and Kitty Monroe.