Milwaukee transgender woman killed, Cordell Howze found guilty

Cordell Howze was found guilty at trial on Monday in the 2023 homicide of Cashay Henderson, a Milwaukee transgender woman.

The jury, which only deliberated for an hour, also convicted Howze of arson and possession of a firearm by a felon. He showed no reaction in court as the verdict was read.

"I’m glad that he was found guilty and justice is served," said Nevaeh Conery, a friend of Henderson's.

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"My friend Cashay can rest really rest now – I’m just really happy he was found guilty," Akeevia Green said.

Prosecutors accused Howze of fatally shooting Henderson and then setting her apartment on fire in 2023. Forty witnesses testified during the trial, and more than 350 pieces of evidence were shown.

"It just really broke my heart to see this. Like it broke me bad," said Green.

In closing arguments on Monday, the state replayed video of Howze in which he called Henderson the devil and recorded the victim after her death. The state also brought up cellphone records that showed Howze searched for a Milwaukee transgender escort on the day Henderson was killed.

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"We know he video tapes her last moments. We know he humiliates her dead body. We know he pours chemicals on her. We know he sets her on fire," said Grant Huebner, Milwaukee County assistant district attorney.

Howze's attorney argued there was a lack of DNA and fingerprints.

Video of Cordell Howze played in court during homicide trial

"They could not tie the bullet to my client," Defense Attorney Andrew Sargent said.

Last week, Howze took the stand and maintained his innocence. In the end, he was found guilty on all three counts he faced.

Howze is scheduled to be sentenced in August. He faces life in prison.

Read more Howze trial coverage