A man was arrested for the murder of a transgender woman in Morristown, Vermont.

Seth Brunell, 43, was arrested Tuesday for the murder of Fern Feather, 29. 

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According to Vermont State Police, Feather was found stabbed on the side of the road, Tuesday morning. 

Brunell Tries “Panic” Defence

According to police, Brunell and Feather were seen together on the day of the murder. Brunell told police that he was defending himself against Feather, who made a “sexual advance” on him.

However, according to investigators, there are “no injuries or evidence of a struggle or an assault on Brunell.”

On May 5 2021, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed legislation banning the “panic” defence. The law is applied to “circumstances in which the victim made a nonforcible, noncriminal romantic or sexual advance toward the defendant.”

‘They Were a Wildflower … Always in Full Bloom’

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In a statement, the Pride Center of Vermont, an LGBTQ advocacy organisation, said, “We are heartbroken by the loss of one of our community members, Fern Feather. Fern brought such joy to so many who were honored to know them and we grieve the loss of their light in this world.”

Brittany Tetlow, a friend of Feather, told NBC5 News, “Every time I saw Fern, they had a wildflower in their hair. But they didn’t need the accessory, they were a wildflower themself. Always in full bloom. Bringing joy and happiness to everybody around them.”

In a statement on Twitter, Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives, Jill Krowinski, said that Feather was, “tragically taken from this world too soon, like so many other transgender people who are targeted in bias driven attacks.

“We absolutely need to continue to take steps to make Vermont a more equitable place and be clear that hate has no place in our state.”

Feather came out as trans in a Facebook post in March, saying, “It’s time to tell the world I’m a Hot Trans Woman in a currently male Hot Body Suit!!”

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

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