Exclusive: Family of transgender woman killed speaks

August 23, 2013 2:17:50 PM PDT
The mother of a transgender woman beaten to death spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News.

The NYPD's hate crimes task force is investigating.

"That was my brother," said Dominique Nettles, the victim's sister.

Vaughn Nettles was born a boy in October 1991. She became Islan Nettles two years ago. She died Thursday, when her mother removed her from life support.

"Yesterday was horrible, he moved, he took his last breath, he laid up like this and laid back down, and I listened to the heart until it stopped beating," said Delores Nettles, the victim's mother.

Saturday just after midnight, the 21-year-old fashion design student was walking down 8th Avenue near West 147th Street right in front of a police precinct, when a group of men started saying some very mean things.

"They were called f****, they were called he-she's, she males, things of that nature," Delores Nettles said.

Police say one of the men was 20-year-old Paris Wilson, who they say punched Nettles, knocked her down, and wouldn't stop.

She was taken to Harlem Hospital with severe head trauma where she slipped into a coma and was pronounced brain dead Tuesday.

"This person beat my baby with his bare hands to death and I don't feel that person should walk the streets because my baby can't walk. He couldn't even tell me he loved me, I will never hear that again," Delores Nettles said.

"He didn't deserve this. I just want them to get justice for him," Dominique Nettles said.

Wilson was arrested on the scene and charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment. But that was before Nettles ultimately died Thursday.

"When he got arrested he should have stood in jail," said Edwin Soares, the victim's uncle.

"I think he should rot. I think he should get life, because he took a life," Delores Nettles said.