James Dixon pleaded guilty to the beating death of a transgender woman in Harlem nearly three years ago, prosecutors confirmed Monday, DNAinfo New York reports.
The 25-year-old admitted to punching Islan Nettles, 21, to the ground after he and a group of friends walked by her just after midnight on Aug. 17, 2013. Dixon hit Nettles so hard that she crashed to the pavement and was left unconscious. Dixon continued to hit her as she lay on the street.
Nettles was transported to the hospital but was declared brain-dead. She was taken off life support three days later.
Paris Wilson, 21, who was with Dixon at the time, was also charged in the attack, but charges were dropped several months later. DNAinfo notes that it wasn't until March 2015 that Dixon was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Dixon initially claimed that prosecutors had the wrong man, but he later admitted in a taped interrogation that was played in court Friday that he thought his "manhood" was threatened after he tried to hit on Nettles, not realizing that she was transgender, according to the report.
Dixon is scheduled to be sentenced April 19 and faces up to 25 years in prison.
Read more at DNAinfo New York.