On March 28, 2010, Rasheen Everett murdered Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a 29-year-old transgender woman he’d met online. After Everett strangled Gonzalez-Andujar in her Glendale, Queens apartment, he poured bleach on her body and ransacked her home, stealing her camera, keys, laptop, coat, and cell phone, and, according to one report, destroying all of her Marilyn Monroe photos. The neighbors could hear screaming and banging, yet no one came to Gonzalez-Andujar’s aid. Everett left the apartment eighteen hours later, carrying Gonzalez-Andujar’s stolen property, and hopped a bus to Las Vegas. Her family discovered her body three days later. Everett was arrested in Las Vegas a month later and brought back to New York to stand trial. Now 32, he was convicted last month of second-degree murder, second-degree burglary, and tampering with physical evidence. On Thursday December 5, before a Queens judge sentenced him to 29 years to life in prison, Everett’s attorney, John Scarpa, argued that his clients should escape serious prison time, given the low social status of the person he killed.
As a New York State attorney, Scarpa is bound by the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides that in the representation of a client, a lawyer shall not assert a position, conduct a defense, or take other action on behalf of the client when the lawyer knows or when it is obvious that such action would serve merely to harass or maliciously injure another. GLBT advocates might consider filing an attorney grievance against Scarpa for his decision to suggest that Everett deserved less jail time because of who Gonzalez-Andujar was. GLBT activists and Women’s Rights Activists have taken similar action against judges who exhibit questionable and biased behavior.