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Brooklyn man gets up to life killing transgender girlfriend

NEW YORK – A 23-years-to-life sentence was given to a Brooklyn man who murdered a woman almost three years ago.

Equan Southall, 28, strangling and stabbing his girlfriend to death in their East Harlem apartment in August 2011. On April 29, a New York State Supreme Court jury found Southall guilty of the top and only count in the indictment against him: second degree murder.

As proven at trial, Southall and his girlfriend, a woman of transgender experience who moved to New York from Chile and went by the name Camila Guzman, lived together in an apartment at East 110th Street and Third Avenue. On August 1, 2011, Southall attacked the victim, stabbing her multiple times in the back and torso with different knives and using a candlestick to bludgeon her in the head. The defendant then wrapped a pillowcase around the victim’s neck and strangled her to death.

“Domestic violence can escalate in a heartbeat,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. “It ends the lives of too many vulnerable individuals who may not know where to turn for help. In this case, the defendant brutally attacked and killed his girlfriend, a transgender woman and a member of the LGBT community, at their apartment in East Harlem. I encourage domestic violence survivors to call my Office’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 212-335-4308 and visit the Manhattan Family Justice Center at 80 Centre Street. Help is available for those in need, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those who step through the Center’s doors.”