Speedy Trial Time Had Expired For Upgraded Charges, Prosecutors Reportedly Say

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The man charged with beating a transgender woman to death in Harlem this past summer walked free Tuesday, according to a published report.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office dropped misdemeanor assault charges against Paris Wilson, 20, on the grounds that they were not ready to go ahead with a homicide case, according to a New York Daily News report.

Charges against Wilson were expected to be upgraded after the victim – Islan Nettles, 21 – died of her injuries in the Aug. 17 attack. But another man later confessed to the attack and said he was too drunk to remember the events, the paper reported.

The second man has not been arrested, and with 90 days having passed since charges were brought against Wilson, the speedy trial time has run out and Wilson must be released, prosecutors told the paper.

Nettles and a friend, another transgender woman, were out early Aug. 17 at 148th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard when they ran into a group of men and one pounced, punching Nettles in the face, police said.

The suspect allegedly kept punching after Nettles fell to the ground. After the attack, Nettles was hospitalized, slipped into a coma and later died.

Detectives have investigated whether Wilson had propositioned Nettles. It seems the victim and Wilson knew each other and were friends on Facebook, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported in August.

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