Transgender Woman Claims Self-Defense in Killing

A transgender South Florida woman is facing a murder charge in what she says was self-defense, and claims she she wouldn't be facing charges if not for her gender.

The woman, who goes by Ms. Campbell, says she never should have been charged in the first place in the killing of Jackson Marcelin last year.

"I do feel like that it may have been different if it was a woman in my situation," Campbell told NBC 6 in an exclusive interview.

Campbell is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Marcelin, who she says she stabbed in self-defense.

"I literally did feel I was defending myself. I actually got struck by the board," she said.

Campbell said Marcelin repeatedly stalked her and had approached her for sex, something she rejected.

"He approached me and he asked me to do something for him and I told him 'I don't think that I want to deal with you,'" Campbell said.

Campbell said she was victimized by others before, and claims she's been raped three times. That fear Campbell said she carried with her last year in northwest Miami-Dade when Marcelin and Campbell had their deadly encounter.

Court documents show one witness told police "she noticed the subject with a sharp object in his right hand...the subject was taunting the victim...the victim had a wooden stick...and was walking towards the subject."

Another witness said "Prior to the incident I observed the victim, Marcelin Jackson...harassing my roommate Lloyd for at least 2-3 months. During the harassment, Marcelin would approach Lloyd with comments such as 'I want to have sex' and 'I want you to (expletive) my (expletive).'"

"I think it's without question that if he were a biological female this case would be handled differently," attorney Herbert Erving Walker III said. "One of the potential jurors, he didn't think that a transgender woman, which is what Ms. Campbell is, could get a fair shake in the criminal justice system."

"I have seen things happen to other transgenders who could not defend themselves," Campbell said.

Marcelin's family wants Campbell prosecuted.

"He attacked my brother first and my brother was defending himself," sister Mirlande Marcelin said.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney said they are always gathering information before deciding what their position will be in court. A hearing is scheduled for later this week.

Meanwhile, Campbell said she's now a witness for the state attorney on battery charges filed against inmates who attacked her before she got out of jail on bond.

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