Cashay B Henderson: Man charged in connection with killing of Black trans woman 

A man has been charged in connection with the death of a Black trans woman, Cashay B Henderson, who was shot before her apartment was allegedly set on fire.

Henderson, from Chicago, is the third Black trans woman to be killed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the past nine months. Her body was discovered by emergency service workers inside her home on 26 February 2023.

At the time, local news reported that police officers responded to reports of a fire at a home near 29th and Villard streets just before 10am. 

Neighbours told officers they heard a gunshot and could smell gasoline, TMJ4 reported

On Sunday (5 March), Cordell M. Howze, 33, of Neenah (about 90 miles north of Milwaukee), was charged in connection with the killing of 31-year-old Henderson. 

He faces charges of first-degree reckless homicide and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

You may like to watch

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Howze was released from Winnebago county jail two days before Henderson was killed. He had been in custody for violating his extended supervision sentence after being released from prison. 

Following news of Cashay B Henderson’s death, her cousin, Veronica Beck, set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of her funeral expenses. So far, it has raised almost $7,000 (approximately £5,900).

Beck described Henderson, who was known to help other Black trans women in the community, as a bubbly spirit and “as beautiful as can be”. 

Local LGBTQ+ group Diverse & Resilient said she was a loved and valued member of the community. 

In a Facebook post, the group said: “The continued attacks by right-wing elected officials to remove safety and rights for trans people are causing an increase in vitriol and hatred toward people of trans experience.  We call for an immediate halt to the hateful rhetoric and the dangerous bills that are written as a result of transphobia and lies.”  

Henderson’s death follows the killings of 28-year-old Brazil Johnson, in June, and 35-year-old Regina “Mya” Allen, in August. 

A 31-year-old man has been charged in relation to Allen’s death, but as yet there have been no arrests in connection Johnson’s killing. 

Howze is set to appear in court on 20 March, to establish if he is fit to stand trial.