At vigil, transgender homicide victim’s family urges hate-crime prosecution
One year after being killed in Northeast Washington, JaParker Jones is missed so much that the victim’s younger sisters often sleep in Jones’s bed to feel their sibling’s presence. Jones’s family said the pain of the loss is increased by the absence of a hate-crime charge against the suspect. Jones, 23, was a transgender person. “We’re seeking justice. Presently, justice is not forthcoming,” Alvin Bethea, Jones’s stepfather, said at a vigil held Saturday on the anniversary of the killing. Jones, 23, who identified as a female and went by the names Deoni and Logan, was stabbed in the 4900 block of East Capitol Street NE last Feb. 2. Gary N. Montgomery has been charged with murder in the death, but officials have found no clear motive for the attack. In an interview, Bethea said the family believes that Jones’s transgender identity led to the stabbing. The family plans to call on federal officials to take over the prosecution, he said.