Deonton Rogers

Deonton Rogers (Booking photo)

Detroit Man To Stand Trial In Shooting Of Transgender Woman

August 16, 2018 - 10:14 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - A Detroit man who allegedly shot a transgender woman during an argument about gender identity has been bound over for trial. 

A 36th District Court this week ordered 29-year-old Deonton Rogers to stand trial on charges of discharging a firearm in a building causing serious injury, discharging a firearm in a building causing serious impairment of a bodily function, felonious assault, felon in possession of a firearm, fourth-degree child abuse, ethnic intimidation based on gender, and a felony firearms violation.

photo: Detroit Police

This is the first gender bias hate crime case in Michigan involving a transgender woman who was assaulted based on her gender identity, according to the Fair Michigan Justice Project, which assists Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons.  

"The Ethnic Intimidation Act, Michigan’s hate-crime law, penalizes hate crimes committed because of a victim’s gender. Judge [William] McConico decided that a hate crime against a transgender person because she is transgender falls within the scope of the law," Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel said in a statement. "We are committed to using every available means to seek justice for persons who have been victims of these despicable acts."

According to Wayne County prosecutors, Rogers approached the victim on July 23 inside a Detroit gas station and made a lewd remark. When the victim informed him she is a transgender woman, Rogers then "engaged in an verbal argument with her about her sexual orientation" -- at some point drawing a handgun from his waistband.

The woman tried to grab the gun, prosecutors said, and in a struggle over the weapon, was shot in the shoulder. 

Rogers fled the area in a black SUV, leaving a 27-year-old female companion at the station, but with the woman's child in the backseat of the vehicle. The child was later found unharmed.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of serious injuries, but is expected to be OK. 

Rogers is expected to be formally arraigned on the charges August 20.