Trans Woman Allegedly Murdered By Texas Football Player She Was Seeing

February 12, 2015  |  

It’s no secret that the LGBTQ community faces grave discrimination and mistreatment. Sadly, that mistreatment is compounded for people of color in the trans community. And tragically, we saw yet another example with a 24-year-old transgender woman Ty Lee Underwood.

Authorities had been investigating Miss Underwood’s murder since police found her, shot to death in late Janurary.

Her body was found after a woman said a car hit a telephone pole and her children said they heard gunshots.

On Monday of this week, Carlton Ray Champion Jr., 21, was arrested and charged with Underwood’s murder.

During the investigation, police discovered Champion was wanted for a parole violation and they arrested him on January 29 for an outstanding warrant and he was held until there was enough evidence to charge him with Miss Underwood’s murder.

Police officer Don Martin said the department does not believe Underwood’s death was the result of a hate crime and cited the fact that Champion knew she was assigned male at birth throughout their relationship.

According to affidavit, Champion became a suspect when Underwood’s roommate told police that the she had been dating a man named Carlton in the weeks before she died. Her roommate had few details but a police department employee, who just so happened to know Underwood, knew that Carlton played football for Texas College.

When detectives interviewed Champion, he confirmed that he had been speaking with Underwood on “Kik” and she was using the name Tyra. Detectives searched Champion’s computer and found their communications, starting back to January 19, 2015.

One detective wrote that after reading their correspondence, it was clear that the two had a sexual relationship.

On January 25, there was a series of messages that showed Underwood being upset at Champion because he was not going to be able to meet up with her like they’d planned. Underwood told Champion that she no longer wanted to see him and he responded: “That’s how it is now. I will make it up.” 

Underwood responded: “Carlton bro you saw me kiking you at 11:00 but you chose to be with whoever you was with and no you think you can just f*** with me when you want.”

Then Champion: “Na f*** this I ain’t done I’m on my way up there, where you gone be at?!?!?”

Eventually, the conversation turned to the subject of meeting places, which seemed to be around the 25th street area.

Investigators obtained surveillance video of Champion leaving his dorm room during the early morning hours of January 26, after the Kik conversation.

While the detectives seem to believe that Champion was aware that Underwood was a trans woman, his father seemed to think differently. He told detectives his son “thought she was female” and he was supposed to get some type of sexual favor from her but then realized she was assigned male at birth.

During their search into Champion as a suspect, investigators found blood on Champion’s jacket worn at the time of the murder.

He is currently being held for a $1,000,000 bond.

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