Accused killer of transgender woman January Lapuz pleads guilty to manslaughter

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      Charles Jameson (Jamie) Neel has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the death of January Marie Lapuz.

      On the day that his jury trial was set to begin (June 9), the 21-year-old Neel, charged with second-degree murder, pleaded guilty in the B.C. Supreme Court to the lesser charge of manslaughter. He accepted responsibility for the death of Lapuz, without admitting to the intent to kill her.

      Police found the 26-year-old Lapuz, who moved to Canada from the Philippines, fatally stabbed in her New Westminster home on September 29, 2012. She spoke English, Tagalog, and Chinese.

      Lapuz, who devoted much of her time to helping others, was the first transgender person to have an executive position in Sher Vancouver, a social and support group for queer South Asians and friends.

      Neel will appear in court on Thursday (June 12) for sentencing.

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