The Manhattan Supreme Court dropped charges on Tuesday against a Harlem man accused of beating a transgender woman to death.
Islan Nettles died in August after Paris Wilson allegedly beat her when he found out that she was born male.
After Wilson was arrested in the case, his mother brought another man to police who confessed to the crime, but claimed not to remember much because he was intoxicated. Police initially believed the confession of the second man to be false. Prosecutors are certain only one person fatally assaulted Nettles, but different witnesses have identified different suspects.
Inconsistency among witnesses has prevented the District Attorney’s office from bringing the case before a grand jury. The office has pleaded with the public for any additional witnesses to come forward and sources say the only thing likely to move the case forward are new witnesses.
According to police, Nettles was standing on a corner when Wilson started flirting with her. When his friends informed him that she was a man, he got mad and started beating her up. Nettles was taken off life support a few days after the incident.
Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Viorst says that while the case is “deeply complex,” his office plans to “aggressively investigate” the incident.
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