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First Gang Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder of Trans Rapper

By Sunnivie Brydum

One of the five men accused of killing an up-and-coming transgender rapper in Milwaukee was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the intentional homicide of 22-year-old Evon Young. 

Ashanti McAlister, 19, admitted to shooting Young three times after other gang members had suffocated and strangled Young, according to Wisconsin's WTMJ. Young's body was also set on fire, then discarded in a dumpster.  Two other gang members have already been convicted and will face sentencing next month. The remaining two men involved in the murder are awaiting trial, reports WTMJ. 

Young, who was building a reputation as a rapper under the name Yung LT, was murdered New Year's Day by a gang of five men who had been his friends. It's unclear whether the gang murdered Young as an initiation rite, because of an alleged theft, or because Young was openly transgender. Young's mother reported her son missing after he failed to appear for a meeting with her and missed at least one day of work.

Media reports at the time of the murder frequently misgendered Young, referring to him by his birth name and with female pronouns, despite Young's friends, family, and formal documents confirming that he identified as male.

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