5 arrested in Milwaukee in slaying of transgender rapper

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Evon Young. - PHOTO: Provided

arrested

Victor Stewart. Billy Griffin. Ashanti Mcalister.

Milwaukee police have now arrested five people in connection with the death of transgender rapper Evon “Yung LT” Young, who was reported missing on New Year’s Day.

The 22-year-old transgender man was reported last seen in public near North 52nd Street and West Custer Avenue later on Jan. 1 and did not report for work. Young’s mother filed a missing person report with the Milwaukee Police Department on Jan. 2.

On Jan. 23, the arrest of three people in connection with the case — Victor Stewart, 27, Ashanti Mcalister, 19, and Billy R. Griffin, 26, Young’s roommate. Later on the day, the arrests of Ron Joseph Allen, 37, and Devin L. Seaberry, 23, were reported.

The Milwaukee District Attorney’s office has charged all five with first-degree intentional homicide.

The criminal complaint states that investigators suspect Young was killed in the basement of the residence he shared with Griffin in what began as a gang re-initiation test for Griffin.

According to the complaint, Young and Griffin were home when the door bell rang. Stewart and Mcalister were at the door, along with Allen and Seaberry. The men entered and went into the kitchen, where an argument ensued.

Griffin allegedly told police that the men began to punch Young and said the victim could not be trusted. Young then was led to the basement, where the attackers choked Young with a chain. Then they placed a plastic bag over his head, rendering Young unconscious. The assailants beat and shot Young, possibly as many as three times. Mcalister allegedly fired the weapon.

Authorities allege the basement was cleaned with beach. Evidence collected in the crime includes DNA, blood, burned clothing and a chain.

Both Griffin and Stewart allegedly made admissions to police, who were searching a landfill on Jan. 23 for Young's body, which the men allegedly placed in a Dumpster.

The defendants are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 31.

In a statement on Jan. 23, FORGE, a transgender rights and support group, said, "FORGE sends its condolences to Young's family and friends. We also recognize that when anyone is killed or harmed, those who share the victim's identity may react with intense grief, anger or fear. We ask our community to be caring, compassionate and supportive of each other as we acknowledge the pervasiveness of violence in our culture, and the accompanying sorrow many of us are feeling."

Regarding reports on Young's life and death, FORGE asked for accuracy and respect in coverage. The statement said, "Several media outlets have inaccurately characterized Young's gender. In interviews with his mother, (Annette) Cross-Perry has consistently referred to her child as male and with masculine pronouns and name. FORGE encourages all media and individuals talking about this case to respectfully use masculine pronouns (he, him, his) and name (Evon, or his rapper name YuNG LT)."