The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for the suspected murderer of Black trans activist Mar’Quis ‘MJ’ Jackson, The Advocate reports. Said DA Larry Krasner, “You want to be a bigot, you want to be a hater – don’t try it in Philly because we are not having it.”
On December 14, 2022, Jackson was found in his backyard, having suffered fatal blunt force injuries to the head. He had just turned 33 two days before and had been missing ever since his birthday.
According to his family, per Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, Jackson was a lover of fashion, music and martial arts. He grew up in South Carolina, and after moving to Philadelphia, he became involved in transgender advocacy, including the city’s LGBTQ+ community center, the Free Ky Project (supporting the release of an incarcerated trans man), and the Transgender Legal Defense Fund.
His twin, Sharree Harvey, described him as “full of life and love” and that he could “get the party started anywhere.” Jackson “loved everybody,” she added. “He wasn’t a person you could stay mad at.”
At the time of Jackson’s death, an unnamed suspect was taken into custody, but was released due to lack of evidence. Now, the DA announced at a press conference that local man Charles Mitchell will be charged with the murder—in addition to abusing the corpse and tampering with evidence. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Ada Joanne Pescatore, chief of homicide at the DA office, explained that with the suspect still at large, the reason for the murder has not been officially determined. “The motive? He beat him. I don’t know why. I can’t tell you why,” Pescatore said. “And he let him go out to the yard, and he left him there to die. He was out in that yard for probably 12 hours.”
Additionally, Krasner put out a call for information regarding the murder of another trans person in Philadelphia. Shahere “Diamond” Jackson-McDonald was found shot to death in her apartment on Thanksgiving Day, and the case remains unsolved.
The authorities are asking anyone with information about either the murder and/or the whereabouts of Mitchell to call (215) 686-8477.