Fort Bliss soldier on trial for allegedly murdering transgender woman

El Paso News

Closing arguemnts are set for Thursday at 8:30 in the morning in the murder trial against a Fort Bliss soldier.

Anthony Michael Bowden is accused of murdering a transgender woman, Erykah Tijerina, who was also a sex worker. 

Both the state and the defense rested their cases on Wednesday afternoon.

Bowden allegedly stabbed Tijerina 24 times, killing her in August 2016.

The state rested its case after it presented a medical examiner who examined the victim’s body and a longtime friend of Tijerina. 

The prosecution was trying to show the defendant made contact with multiple transgender women. Chyna Fierro, a transgender woman, was friends with Tijerina for 16 years.

Fierro testified Bowden messaged her in 2016 on a dating app called “Meet Me.” The messages were showed in court, showing Bowden messaging Fierro and trying to make arrangements to meet for sex. 

Bowden did not seem to care Fierro was a transgender woman.

 Fierro responded to Bowden, saying she was attending a rosary of her friend who was murdered. 

When the defense cross-examined Fierro, they asked if she knew if Tijerina would blackmail her clients. 

Fierro said she gave police a statement before saying Tijerina threatened to tell clients’ families what happened if they didn’t pay her.

On day one of the trial on Tuesday, Bowden claimed Tijerina was blackmailing him and he acted in self-defense. 

When the defense called witnesses to the stand, they questioned a forensic psychologist Dr. James Schutte.

Schutte testified he conducted seven psychological tests on Bowden after his attorneys asked him to in 2017.

Schutte said Bowden had an IQ score of 83, below the average score of 100. He also attested that Bowden had Asperger’s Syndrom, a form of Autism. 

He said that in a three hour interview with Bowden, the defendant showed signs of an autism-spectrum disorder and said he wouldn’t know what to do in a situation such as blackmail. 

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