TAMPA - The trial for Tavares Spencer, a Tampa man accused of nearly killing a transgendered man, started in downtown Tampa on Tuesday.
Coko told jurors about the day she thought might be her last. “I lost my breath, and then something came over me, and I got up, and I started running the best I could.”
Coko says she only met then 16-year old Spencer once before, the two exchanged phone numbers, started texting, and things quickly turned flirtatious.
“I text him and told him before we go any further with this conversation it's only right I be honest, I'm transgender,” McDonald said.
“Mr. Spencer immediately reacted to the news telling her never to call me again,” said public defender Paul Figueroa.
According to the defense, Spencer wasn't sure Coko was serious about being transgender, texting her back about 20 minutes later.
“He was planning to have sex with Coko,” Figueroa said.
According to police, the two ended up on the side of a house on Winnie Street.
The state argued that Spencer lured Coko there, where he robbed her and shot her.
“As the victim tried to run, the defendant fired four more times with a revolver,” said prosecutor Anthony Falcone.
But the defense claims it was Spencer who feared for his life, not Coko.
“When Mr. McDonald continued more forcefully, Mr. Spencer became scared.
Mr. Spencer didn't know what to think. He became so scared he pulled a pistol from his pocket and shot twice, intending to escape,” Figeroa said.
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