Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

Maryland Man Charged With Murder of Black Trans Woman

A grand jury in Prince George’s County indicted a District Heights man for the murder of Tavahn “Taya” Ashton, a 20-year-old Black transgender woman, county officials announced Tuesday.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said DeAllen Davonta Price, 27, will be charged with murder and other offenses.

If convicted, Price faces life in prison for shooting Ashton in her Suitland apartment on July 17.

“Our homicide unit within the [police] department … was able to really solve this homicide pretty quickly and that’s why we were able to indict him pretty quickly,” Braveboy said Tuesday outside the Prince George’s courthouse in Upper Marlboro.

According to court documents, Price traveled July 18 to Arlington County, Virginia, and police arrested him that same day. It took police about two hours to arrest Price because he hid inside a tunnel at the Pentagon City Metrorail station.

When Price walked outside, police noticed a Gucci cross-strap bag with “distinct markings.” When the information was relayed to Prince George’s police, Ashton’s family informed authorities a similar bag was missing from her apartment.

Black transgender activists from Baltimore traveled to the courthouse in Upper Marlboro on July 27 to support Tavahn "Taya" Ashton. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Black transgender activists from Baltimore traveled to the courthouse in Upper Marlboro on July 27 to support Tavahn “Taya” Ashton. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

Police retrieved cellphone records and determined the last phone made by Ashton was to Price. In addition, police said Price didn’t leave the area of Brooks Drive, where Ashton lived, between 11:41 p.m. and 1:10 a.m. on July 17.

Police found Ashton dead hours earlier at about 9:52 p.m.

On July 20, law enforcement authorities found a .40-caliber handgun in the same Metrorail tunnel where Price hid two days prior in Northern Virginia. After examining the gun and bullets, Prince George’s police determined it was the weapon used to kill Ashton.

When questioned by police, Price said he and Ashton had a three-month relationship.

As police continue to investigate the motive of the shooting, Price remains in a Virginia jail. Prince George’s police said there’s no timetable for when he would be extradited across the border to Maryland.

Karen Holmes, a Black transgender woman and transgender advocate, said 39 Black transgender people have been killed this year nationwide. In comparison, 44 were killed last year.

“We’re going to be past that number later this year,” she said.

Holmes said she’s working with the federal Department of Justice’s Community Relation Services to bridge the transgender community with law enforcement.

“We want to do training with law enforcement officers to identify things such as proper pronouns when they pull us over,” she said. “That helps to ensure a person is identified correctly.”

Four transgender activists traveled from Baltimore City to attend Tuesday’s press conference in Upper Marlboro in support of Ashton.

Iya Dammons, executive director of Baltimore Safe Haven, has a message for Prince George’s and other local and state officials to help Black trans women survive. Dammons mentioned two shot and killed in the county two years ago: Zoe Spears, 23, and Ashanti Carmon, 27.

“We are out here every day fighting for our lives. Where are the resources for people who look like me?” she said. “Everybody will come out for me when I’m dead and throw me my roses, but what happens when I’m alive? Do what it takes to [help] me survive … and the generation that comes behind me.”

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker