Murder charge laid in death of New West transgender resident January Lapuz

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      A criminal charge has been laid in the stabbing death of New Westminster transgender resident January Marie Lapuz.

      The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said today (December 6) that 20-year-old Charles Jameson "Jamie" Neel faces a charge of second-degree murder. Police arrested Neel on Wednesday (December 5), and he was slated to make a court appearance this afternoon.

      On September 30, Lapuz was discovered with stab wounds in her home. The 26-year-old woman later died in hospital.

      IHIT said in a news release that it is continuing to investigate the motive for the murder.

      Canada's Criminal Code defines first-degree murder generally as a "planned and deliberate" killing. "All murder that is not first degree murder is second degree murder," the code states.

      Lapuz hailed from the Philippines, and was actively involved with Sher Vancouver, a social and support group created for queer South Asians but open to all ethnicities. Sher founder Alex Sangha told the Straight in October that Lapuz was the first transgender person to hold an executive position with the organization.

      "In many ways, her being involved with Sher opened it up to many more people," Sangha said at the time.

      On November 20, Lapuz's name was one of dozens read out at Transgender Day of Remembrance events around the world.

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      Lulu Laru

      Dec 6, 2012 at 4:02pm

      Second Degree Murder? Any more info about that part of it?

      Vance M.

      Dec 6, 2012 at 7:27pm

      good news and I am hoping this is the right person. If so justice must be seen to be done.

      Gabriella

      Dec 7, 2012 at 12:32pm

      Second degree murder is a death that isnt planne and deliberate. Meaning it happens in the heat of the moment so to say.

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