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Accused Killer of Cleveland Trans Woman Appears in Court, Makes No Plea

By Trudy Ring

Andrey Bridges, charged with aggravated murder in the death of Cleveland transgender woman Cemia Dove, entered no plea during a brief court appearance this afternoon, and he was assigned a public defender.

Bridges, 36, of Parma, Ohio, was arrested a week ago and faces additional charges of kidnapping, tampering with evidence, and gross abuse of a corpse, Cleveland’s Plain Dealer reports.

Dove’s body was found in a pond in Olmsted Township, a suburban area west of Cleveland, April 17. She had been stabbed to death, and her body had a rope around the waist, tied to a concrete block and a steel pipe. She had been reported missing March 27.

Dove, 20, was born Carl Acoff. News coverage of her death has come in for much criticism for referring to her by her birth name and male pronouns, and for generally showing a lack of understanding of transgender issues.

Bond for Bridges was set at $5 million. He has a substantial criminal record, The Plain Dealer notes, including “convictions for aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, theft, drug possession and attempted drug trafficking.” He has served four prison terms, the last ending in July 2011. Last year he was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated assault stemming from a 2010 attack on a man and a woman; the woman was his former common-law wife.

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