MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A man has been charged with killing a woman in her apartment, solving the first homicide in Minneapolis in 2011.
Police say 40-year-old Arnold Darwin Waukazo is responsible for the death of 45-year-old Christopher Paul Bates, a transgender woman who had been living as Krissy.
Bates was found by the caretaker of the apartment building at 1302 Linden Avenue on Jan. 11, unresponsive. The caretaker called 911.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Bates’ death was a homicide and that she died as a result of complex homicidal violence.
According to the criminal complaint, Bates sustained four stab wounds to the torso and neck.
A neighbor told police that Bates had recently begun dating a man named “Arnie,” after meeting him online. Police found a bloody knife and a bottle of brandy that had been purchased by Arnold Waukazo, along with a receipt from Haskell’s liquor store. They tracked him down after finding him on store surveillance video buying that bottle, He admitted to getting in an argument with Bates and strangling her with his hands until she lost consciousness.
Court records show when Waukazo made an attempt to move her, he said she jumped. He told police he didn’t want her to “come back,” so he grabbed a folding knife off a hutch and stabbed her multiple times.
“I’d actually seen that knife before,” said Bates close friend, Scottie Thornton. He says Bates only met Waukazo around a week before she was murdered. Thornton says Bates was new in town and was trying to meet people.
“They had a romantic relationship and she thought she had found ‘the one,’” said Thornton. “She was very excited, talking about moving him in already.”
The LGBT community believes it all was a deliberate attack on Bates.
“She was killed by the person she said loved her the most,” said Rebecca Waggoner, the anti-violence program director at the advocacy group, OutFront Minnesota, who says in 2009, around half of all the murders in the LGBT community targeted transgender women.
“Her life is over because of domestic violence and transphobia, and we can in this case point directly to those two facts. Unfortunately, too often trans women are seen as disposable, at the bottom of the list, and we need to stop that,” said Waggoner.
OutFront Minnesota planned a candlelight vigil to raise awareness in Bates’ memory at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College at 6 p.m. Friday night. A group of several hundred planned to march in the cold to Bates’ apartment on Linden Avenue in Minneapolis.
“She will be greatly missed, an incredible person, loving and caring, she had this spirit of joy about her all the time,” said Thornton. She’ll be missed.”
Waukazo was arrested and, after having been read his Miranda rights, repeated his confession, according to the criminal complaint.
Waukazo remains in custody at Hennepin County Jail.