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Boyfriend who fatally stabbed transgender woman sentenced to state prison

Friends and loved ones of Yazmin Vash Payne, who was fatally stabbed in her Van Nuys apartment on Jan. 31, 2015, attend a vigil on Feb. 1, 2015, outside her apartment. Earlier this month, Vash Payne’s boyfriend was sentenced to more than 10 years in state prison for her murder and setting their apartment on fire. Photo: Facebook.

VAN NUYS – A Van Nuys man will serve more than 10 years in state prison for fatally stabbing his transgender girlfriend and setting their apartment on fire, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

Ezekiel Jamal Dear, 27, was found guilty in Van Nuys Superior Court on one count of voluntary manslaughter with a knife use allegation and arson on October 19.

Dear stabbed Yazmin Vash Payne to death during a domestic dispute and then tried to burn down their apartment in the 14600 block of Saticoy Street on fire on Jan. 31, 2015, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Dear was sentenced to 12 years and eight months on December 1.

On Feb. 1, 2015, the day after Vash Payne was killed, her friends and loved ones had a vigil outside her apartment, where they held signs saying “Trans lives matter” and “No Transphobia in the Valley” and “Basta No Mas Muertes.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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