NC murder suspect agreed to meet transgender victim for sex, warrants say

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — A search warrant was released Friday in Mecklenburg County that says a 26-year-old man, who identified as a transgender woman, asked the suspect in his murder to have sex prior to the deadly shooting.

Derrick Lee Banner was found in a vehicle with an apparent gunshot wound around 3 a.m. in the 1400 block of Rosetta Street Tuesday.

According to the warrant, Banner contacted the suspect, 18-year-old Montavious Sanchez Berry, to meet up to have sex. Berry was the last person who Banner texted before he was killed, the warrant states.

After the shooting, detectives found Banner’s phone which contained a video of Banner and Berry “engaged in sexual activity.”

The video was taken approximately 30 minutes before the shooting occurred, according to the warrant.

Arrest warrants were then issued against Berry and he was later arrested at his home on Dundeen Street Tuesday night.

During the search, investigators found a cell phone in Berry’s home that matched the phone number Benner was texting, the warrant states. Benner’s cell phone was seized as evidence.

Another transgender woman, who goes by Tooker, says she was there when the shooting happened. She says she was hiding in the trunk of the vehicle – she claims because Berry asked Banner to come alone.

At some point, she heard her friend’s voice inside the car.

“I heard him say, ‘don’t point it at me like that, don’t point it at me like that’,” she says. “Seconds after that I heard two gunshots.”

Tooker believes Berry shot her friend for being transgender, although police say there is no reason to believe that is the case.

“He’s a coward, he doesn’t know who he is,” Tooker says. “He tried something, didn’t like it, and couldn’t live with it.”

Barry was charged with murder, armed robbery and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

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