The man convicted of killing a transgender woman he met online and setting her Pico-Union home on fire in 2018 has been sentenced to 25 years-to-life in prison, authorities said.
Sentenced to prison
Kevyn Ramirez, 32, was sentenced Monday to one count of arson of an inhabited structure and one count of the first-degree murder of Victoria “Viccky” Ramos Gutierrez, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Ramirez entered a plea of no contest on July 15 to both counts. That means Ramirez admitted to the facts in the case, but not his guilt. Due to his plea, Ramirez was able to avoid a trial.
In 2019, Ramirez had entered a plea of not guilty.
Gutierrez, 33, moved to the United States from Honduras in 2015. She helped with organizing efforts in Los Angeles’ Latinx LGBTQ community, friends have said.
Violence against transgender community
In 2020, at least 28 transgender people have been murdered or their deaths ruled suspicious, compared to 26 total deaths for 2019, according to data collected by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
The group’s 2016 survey found the epidemic of violence is targeted at Black and Latina transgender women — 47% of Black respondents and 30% of Latino respondents said they were denied equal treatment, verbally harassed, and-or physically attacked in the previous year because of being transgender.
Fatal stabbing, arson
Ramirez met Gutierrez after she posted an advertisement online as a sex worker and he responded, prosecutors have said.
The two had sex on Jan. 10, 2018, at Gutierrez’s Pico-Union area apartment, but Ramirez wanted his money back. When Gutierrez refused, Ramirez fought with and fatally stabbed her. Ramirez then set the apartment on fire, prosecutors have said.
Los Angeles firefighters responded approximately 3:15 a.m. to a blaze at the building in the 1700 block of South New Hampshire Avenue. The one unit was engulfed with heavy flames, and firefighters extinguished the blaze approximately 45 minutes later.
They discovered Gutierrez’s body during a search of the apartment. Los Angeles Police Department officials said the death was suspicious.
Ramirez was arrested the day after Gutierrez was killed. Five days later, Ramirez was charged with counts of arson and murder.