Prosecutors dropped murder charges Friday against a transgender South Florida woman who says she was acting in self-defense in the 2016 killing of a man.
The woman, identified only as Ms. Campbell, was facing charges in the stabbing death of Jackson Marcelin in 2016.
"I'm grateful," Campbell said, fighting back tears after the charges were dropped. "It's been a long journey."
Campbell claimed Marcelin stalked her and repeatedly approached her for sex, even after being refused.
According to court documents, one witness told police they saw Jackson "harassing my roommate Lloyd for at least two to three months," approaching Lloyd with comments such as "I want to have sex" and "I want you to (expletive) my (expletive)."
In July 2016, Marcelin approached Campbell in northwest Miami-Dade with a wooden board while she had a "sharp object" in her hand, according to a witness, court documents show. The witness told police that Campbell was "taunting the victim."
Prosecutors dropped the charges after they couldn't find one of the witnesses and the other witness changed her story.
"It's heartbreaking because it seems so unfair and like justice is not served when it's well deserved," said Mirlande Marcelin, Jackson's sister.
Campbell said she has been raped three times and carried that fear when she and Marcelin had their deadly encounter.
"I literally did feel I was defending myself. I actually got struck by the board," she told NBC 6.
Campbell and her attorney believe that if she were a cisgender woman, she wouldn’t have been charged with murder in the case.
"I do feel like that it may have been different if it was a woman in my situation," Campbell said.
"I think it’s without question that if [she] were a biological female, this case would be handled differently," said her attorney, Herbert Erving Walker III.