AUSTIN - JonCasey Rowell -- the man who shot and killed a transgender woman in 2016 -- has been found guilty of murder, a jury found Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.
The jury made the decision shortly before 5 p.m.Rowell was sentenced to 20 years in prison, KVUE confirmed Tuesday.
Around 3 a.m.on Jan 22, 2016, Rowell shot and killed Monica Loera at her home, which is located along East Powell Lane. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered an ID card that belonged to Rowell and some money. Police then identified Rowell as the prime suspect.
During the first day of the trial on Oct. 31, four witnesses took the stand including two of Loera's roommates and two of her neighbors. The two roommates stated that they heard the gunshots, but did not see who shot Loera. The two neighbors, however, stated they heard Loera arguing with a man and said they saw a man coming back and forth from Loera's door.
A member of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force also took the stand.
He said that during the investigation, he couldn't find anything on Rowell's computer or work phone, but his personal phone had several internet searches made in the hours leading up to and after Loera's murder.
He said there were searches on Google for "how to get away with murder," and on Backpage.com there were searches for "transsexual escorts." One was made on Jan. 22 at 2 a.m. Authorities say Loera was murdered about one hour later. Following her murder, there were clicks to news articles regarding the fatal shooting in North Austin.
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