(WJBK) - A step towards justice for a transgender woman shot in Detroit was made Wednesday in court after an accomplice took a plea deal.
Jujuan Williams wasn't the gunman, but he's admitting his guilt. He is one of two men charged with robbing and shooting a transgender woman on Woodward Avenue back in November. The victim, named Chocolate, was nearly killed.
"I was screaming and hollering because I was paralyzed," she said while testifying at the preliminary exam from her wheelchair.
She is still going through rehab but learning to walk again, as Williams took a plea deal to spend 10 to 30 years in prison. The prosecutor told the judge they did not offer plea deal for alleged gunman Charles Brown.
"This defendant set it in motion. This defendant brought the .22 rifle. This defendant ordered the co-defendant to commit the robbery. This defendant, after the robbery, got out the vehicle and shot the victim in the back as she fled," said prosecutor Jaime Powell Horowitz.
However, Judge Vonda Evans offered Brown 20 to 40 years behind bars. He declined, meaning the case goes to trial in March - a case with a crime caught on camera, cell phone records and even phone calls Brown made from the jail that allegedly incriminate him.
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"If you want to help yourself go to prison, talking on that phone, so they can twist those words up. But if I were you I would stay off that phone," Evans said.
A life that could be spent behind bars for decades. Advocates for transgender individuals grateful the case is being taken seriously.
"The whole case is honestly really, really senseless," said Julisa Abad, transgender outreach with Fair Michigan. "This case alone shows the importance of coming forward and saying when something happens to you."