Ty UnderwoodAge 24
26 Jan 2015
Tyler, Texas (USA)
TDoR list ref: tgeu/26-Jan-2015/Ty Underwood
Ty was shot to death in her car. Her last communication had been with a potential date via a chat app but she had been beginning to have doubts about him.
Carlton Ray Champion Jr., 21, was convicted of first degree murder.
A confession never comes, but there's enough evidence to put Carlton Champion in front of a jury.
"He kind of laughed and chuckled the whole time," said Ty Underwood's friend Kenyaah Darks. "You see his lawyer kind of like tapping him telling him to be quiet, straighten up, sit up and things like that, and he took it as a joke."
But it's no joke when the verdict comes in: Guilty of first-degree murder. He could have received as little as five years, but after another outburst of arrogance in court, Champion gets life.
But even that life sentence doesn't stop him from taunting still members of Ty's family as he leaves the courtroom.
"Carlton Champion Jr. killed Ty Underwood because he was afraid the secret was gonna come out, that if this relationship went south, everyone was gonna find out that he's in a relationship with a transgender woman, and he could not take that thought," said Cory McCoy.
Unbelievably, Carlton Champion still thinks he can get out of this. He sent a letter to Crime Watch Daily, writing "the police did dirty work" and that he's "looking good, feeling good... Waiting to get free so I can see what the world got to offer me."
Champion's lawyer indicated his client will appeal. Carlton Champion will be eligible for parole in 2045.
Ty was employed as a nursing assistant at a retirement home and was planning to enter a nursing program at Kilgore College in Longview, Texas.
"Ty was a person who wasn't scared of anything," said Ty's friend Kenyaah Darks. "Ty wasn't fearful, so when it came down to the world accepting who she was, it was 'live it to the fullest every day, because you just never know.'"
TvT project: The Advocate 27.01.2015 & 11.02.2015 & KTX 10.02.2015