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Teen found guilty for attempted murder of trans woman

Florida teenager Tavares Spencer shot his victim after discovering her gender history, then bragged about attack to friends
Florida teen Tavares Spencer was found guilty of the attempted murder of a trans woman.

A teenager in Florida has been found guilty of the attempted murder of a transgender woman.


Tavares Spencer shot Coko McDonald on 9 April this year after he discovered her gender history.


Tampa police said Spencer initially believed she had been born female, and turned violent when she explained to him her trans history.


McDonald stated she never hid her birth gender, and was always honest about her past.


She said: 'It's just a shock that it happened to me, because I don't go round hurting people.'


After the shooting, Spencer bragged about the attempted murder to his friends through text messages, using derogatory language to describe his victim.


The discovery of the texts led to Spencer being charged with a hate crime.


At the time of arrest, Tampa detectives were shocked by Spencer's lack of remorse for his crime.


Spencer, 16, was charged with attempted first-degree felony murder, attempted second-degree murder and robbery. He was found guilty on Thursday, just three days after the trial began.


The defense had claimed McDonald had made sexual advances on Spencer, and it was only for that reason he shot her as he was apparently 'fearing for his life'.


Spencer's sentencing is scheduled for 6 December. He is currently facing several other charges for an unrelated arrest.

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