Transgender activist and former teacher found guilty of triple murder in 2009 killing of a teenage student
The former teacher found guilty of murdering a teenage student in a 2009 classroom killing during a special education class in Virginia has had his record set aside after state officials said his death was committed as part of an “entirely foreseeable” plan.
Judge T.S. Ellis III ordered the case of Aaron McKinney to be wiped clean of any connection to McKinney’s gender identity.
The 20-year-old former teacher was found guilty in September 2018 of murder, conspiracy and being an accessory after the fact. He was also ordered to pay $850,000 in restitution to the students he murdered.
Murdered student Aaron McKinney was the son of a transgender woman
On sentencing, the jury took less than a minute to agree on the murder charge, finding McKinney guilty of second-degree murder. The jury found him not guilty of murder in the first degree, an additional charge that states the crime, if not murder, was committed during an abduction.
The jury’s verdict came after several hours of deliberation, although the judge said he wasn’t expecting one.
“I was not expecting an acquittal,” Ellis said in court. Then, noting the judge’s long career on the bench, Ellis said: “The record is pretty clear on that.”
Aaron McKinney: My name is Aaron McKinney, born in August 2009. I was a student at Eastern High School in Suffolk, Virginia, where I was doing well and had good friends. In the spring of 2009 I was accepted in the freshman class at the University of Virginia, where I would have an opportunity to meet other students from across the country and learn about how other cultures live.
I was excited to be accepted in the class and told my parents I wanted to visit them in Virginia. My parents said I couldn’t because I was not old enough. The next day I told them I wanted to meet with Mr. John White, the school guidance assistant