Florida man sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder of trans woman

More than a year after the death of 30-year-old Ashley Sinclair, a man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for murdering her.

Sinclair, a trans woman, was found shot to death in April 2013 in a wooded area in Florida. Kentz Louis, age 23, is a reoffender who has previously served time in prison and now faces another 30 years. 

“You took my child, but you didn’t break me. You can’t break me,” Angela Smith, the mother of Sinclair, told Louis according to The Orlando Sentinel. “I don’t hate you. You are somebody’s child. I will pray for you because somebody prayed for my child. But young man, if my heart could show… you would see a scar that will be there for ever and ever.”

In a final attempt to spare Louis punishment for the crime, his attorney called for a new trial claiming his client was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite the attorney’s claims, the judge was unwavering in his decision to sentence Louis.

The conviction and sentencing has brought new faith to the LGBT community of Orange County. Axavier Darnell Strick, the entertainment director for Parliament House, remembered Sinclair as an entertainer, who was as an integral part of the community.

“She was somebody who was important,” Strick told The Sentinel. “She was somebody who was valued, and she was my friend…You took someone away from this community, and it mattered.”

I’m thankful justice was served, though it won’t bring her back. Thinking of her loved ones during this emotionally taxing time.