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Sentencing for Bliss soldier guilty of killing transgender woman postponed

The sentencing phase in the trial of the Fort Bliss soldier found guilty of murdering a transgender woman has been postponed until Tuesday, January 22, 2018.

Thursday, Anthony Michael Bowden was found guilty of murder for stabbing Erykah Tijerina 24 times in August 2016.

On Wednesday closing arguments were made. The defense claims Tijerina and Bowden met after Tijerina posted an advertisement for sexual services on Craigslist. Bowden did not know Tijerina was born a man or that she had tested positive for HIV since she was 17. Bowden also claimed Tijerina raped him.

The defense told jurors Tijerina blackmailed Bowden in the days after their encounter and threatened to expose him by posting photos of him on Craigslist.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors showed the jury a video in which Bowden confessed to killing Tijerina. The defense argued their client killed Tijerina in self-defense.

Dr. James W. Schutte testified in court he performed seven psychological tests on Bowden at the direction of his attorneys on March 14, 2017.

Schutte said Bowden’s IQ was 83, which is 17 points below a normal score of 100, thus categorizing him with “borderline intellectual function.”

Schutte also testified Bowden’s reading level was that of a sixth-grade student despite having passed high school and attested to the fact that Bowden has Asperger’s Syndrome.

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