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Convicted Murderer Who Tortured And Killed Transgender Inmate After Being Housed Together For Mere Hours Sentenced To Death

Miguel Crespo shared a cell with Carmen Guerrero for just eight hours before he bound, gagged and tortured her.

By Gina Tron

A California inmate has been sentenced to death for killing a transgender prisoner he was housed with for a matter of hours.

Miguel Crespo, 48, killed Carmen Guerrero at Kern Valley State Prison after they were placed in a cell together, NBC News reports. After just eight hours in the same cell, Crespo bound, gagged and tortured Guerrero, a transgender woman, before murdering her inside their cell.

He was sentenced to death Thursday after a jury found him guilty last month of first-degree murder and assault in Guerrero's death. Prosecutors said he killed Guerrero simply because she was a transgender woman.

Before Crespo was sentenced on Thursday, he called his victim an anti-gay slur.

“I had a restriction not to be housed with a (expletive),” Crespo said, according to local outlet KGET

While he could have been ordered to pay a victim restitution fine of up to $10,000, Crespo was only ordered to pay the minimum fine of $300 after he told the judge he was indigent.

Miguel Crespo Pd

“Three hundred is fine, judge,” Crespo said while laughing, according to KGET.

Crespo was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder when he killed Guerrero. He shot into a car in 1993, killing one person and injuring another, KGET reports.

Transgender people are nine times more likely than cisgender people to be sexually assaulted while in prison, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. The California Senate passed a bill in May that would require transgender prisoners to be housed according to their gender identity but the full Assembly won't vote on it until 2020. That legislation would allow for trans inmates to be placed where they feel safest.

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