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Murder may be revenge for drug sting

Jan. 6, 2012 at 8:47 PM   |   Comments

DETROIT, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A 30-year-old Detroit man is charged with first-degree murder of a transgender woman who had set him up in a drug sting for police, court records show.

Qasim Raqib was charged in the Oct. 23 death of Shelley Hilliard, a 19-year-old transgender woman whose mutilated body was found on Detroit's east side. Hilliard was allegedly caught with marijuana Oct. 20 when police said she could avoid arrest by setting up a drug deal, testimony Thursday in 36th District Court revealed, The Detroit News reported.

During Raqib's preliminary examination, testimony showed, Hilliard used her cellphone to call Raqib, as police listened on speaker phone, and told him she knew of someone who wanted to buy $335 worth of cocaine and marijuana.

Raqib was arrested when he arrived at a Motel 6 in Madison Heights 20 minutes later, the News said.

Testimony suggested Raqib called Hilliard on a prepaid cellphone two days after his arrest. Hilliard received a call to meet a man the next day at 1 a.m.

Taxi driver Robert Mullen, who testified he took Hilliard on all her calls, said she told him she was worried about revenge by Raqib over the drug sting.

After dropping her off, Mullen said, he got a call from Hilliard, who sounded afraid, and then heard what sounded like the phone dropping to the ground and it went dead.

Hilliard's body was found 3 1/2 hours later on a service road along Interstate 94, the News said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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