Lynchburg man pleads guilty to murder of transgender woman

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A Lynchburg man charged with murdering a 28-year-old transgender woman last summer will spend the next two decades behind bars.

Kenneth Kelley pleaded guilty on Thursday in connection to the death of 28-year-old Phineas Neville, who also went by Ebony Morgan.

On July 2, police found the 28-year-old dead at the Virginian Apartments on Rivermont Avenue.

Several days after his death, police arrested 23-year-old Kenneth Kelley Jr.

On Thursday, Kelley pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and using of a firearm in the commission of a felony. 

Kelley met with the victim to sell him drugs and during the process of the deal, the two got into a fight and Phineas was shot five times, according to court testimony.

After the shooting, Kelley left Lynchburg and went to Baltimore, where police found him staying with his mom. 

He will be going to prison for 20 years, according to Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney Bethany Harrison.

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