Did Detroit Area Cops Send Transgender Teen to her Death?
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"Red and Matthews were waiting for Shelly Hilliard outside of the house on Longfellow Street. She immediately became concerned when she saw the men waiting and asked her cab driver to stay on a cellphone call with her. As he drove away, the cab driver heard Shelly Hilliard say, 'What are you doing?' and then scream 'No!' over the phone. Her phone fell out of her hand and went dead after a few muffled noises. By the time the cab driver turned around the corner to return to Shelly Hilliard's drop-off location, no one was in sight.
"The cab driver was the last known person to see Shelly Hilliard alive, other than her murderers.
"Red and Matthews forced Shelly Hilliard into a car and drove off. Red held a gun to Ms. Hilliard and, according to information and belief, beat her with the gun. At some point while they were in the car, one of the men may have choked Ms. Hilliard.
"According to information and belief, the two men took Shelly Hilliard to an abandoned house on Longwood Street in Detroit and tied her up. They continued to assault her.
"At some point during this brutal assault and due to the assault itself, Shelly Hilliard died.
"Matthews's hands were covered with scratch marks from Shelly Hilliard's attempt to prevent her homicide, so Red and Matthews decided to cut off Ms. Hilliard's hands in order to hide the DNA evidence under her fingernails. Red and Matthews cut off Ms. Hilliard's arms and legs with an axe and placed her limbs in trash bags. They rolled Ms. Hilliard's torso into a sheet and placed it in the trunk of their car.
"Red and Matthews then dumped Shelly Hilliard's torso in the area of Interstate 94 and Bewick Street in Detroit, Michigan. They doused her torso in gasoline, lit it on fire, and drove off.
"Later that day, on October 23, 2011, Red and Matthews scattered Shelly Hilliard's limbs in the area of 6 Mile Road and Dakota Avenue. Based upon information and belief, they also burned down the abandoned house on Longwood Street to hide the blood that had soaked into the structure.
"Shelly Hilliard remained missing until approximately November 9 or 10, 2011. Although police officers discovered Shelly Hilliard's burned torso later in the day on October 23, 2011, they were unable to identify her body for several weeks. They were ultimately able to do so only from on a cherry tattoo on a portion of her upper right arm that remained connected to her torso. Her limbs were not discovered until early March 2012.
"Both Red and Matthews were arrested, convicted, and sentenced for their involvement in Shelly Hilliard's murder."
Nelson seeks punitive damages for violation of due process and wrongful death. She is represented by William Goodman with Goodman & Hurwitz.