A 24-year-old Brooklyn man was indicted Tuesday for killing a transgender woman a year and a half after she was brutally beaten on a Harlem street, police said.
James Dixon, who was charged with first and second-degree manslaughter, and first-degree assault for the fatal beating of 21-year-old Islan Nettles on August 17, 2013, was held without bail Tuesday.
"Over the past 18 months, my Office has exhaustively investigated this case with the primary objective of making sure that justice is served for Islan Nettles," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement. "A grand jury has voted to indict James Dixon on charges of manslaughter and assault for attacking this young transgender woman on a Harlem street. Her serious injuries caused her death days later."
Dixon pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court. His attorney declined to comment on his behalf.
Dixon allegedly approached Nettle, who was with a group of two other transgender women, at the time, on 8th Avenue, between 147th and 148th streets, just after midnight. Dixon was allegedly with a group of at least six others, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office.
Dixon then apparently punched Nettle, who fell down, hitting her head on the pavement, knocking her unconscious, and causing a serious brain injury, according to the DA's office.
"What are you going to do now [expletive]?" he allegedly yelled as he continued to beat her, police said.
Nettle was taken to Harlem Hospital but was declared brain dead three days later and taken off life support five days after the attack, according to the DA's office.
An arrest was made shortly after the attack, but it was a case of misidentification and the charges were dropped.
Dixon's next court appearance is scheduled for March 18th.