Ty Underwood was a transgender woman and an aspiring nurse, and Carlton Champion was a handsome football player at Texas College. However, police say Carlton was no champion the night he shot and killed his transgender girlfriend on the dark streets of Tyler, Texas. Their case made headlines last year. Now, the story has captured the attention of TV One producers of the hit crime show Fatal Attraction.
The episode dramatizing the Fatal Attraction murder case is called “Death By Secrets.” Family or friends of the victim will tell their side of the story, and Tyler police detectives will analyze the case.
Fatal Attraction: “Death By Secrets”
When an up-and-coming female nursing student is found dead inside her vehicle, police believe it might be a drive-by shooting. But police make a shocking discovery about their victim: She’s a man. As police investigate the victim’s secret life, they realize that her killer is someone close to her, possibly a husky college football player in town.
Woman Found Dead In Car
Shots rang out in the early morning hours in January of 2015. A woman called 911, stating that her children heard gunshots, and shortly thereafter, they saw a car crash into a pole. When police descended on the scene, they found the body of a female sitting inside of a Toyota Camry with gunshot wounds to the body.
At a glance, it looked like a drive-by shooting. But as the body was examined, police discover that the victim was biologically a man. Then, the investigation shifted into full gear, and by morning, the headlines suggested that the transgender woman was most likely murdered after her lover found out that she was really a man. The story was partially true.
Twenty-four-year-old Ty Underwood, aka Tyrone Lee Underwood, was biologically a man, but her lover knew it. Police detectives were told by Ty Underwood’s roommate that she had been seeing a man named Carlton.
Meet Up For Death
Working from that lead, detectives also discovered that Ty Underwood had told friends that she was dating a football player at Texas College. Police were able to match the name Carlton to a football player enrolled at the school. The lover was identified as 21-year-old Carlton Champion.
The investigation revealed that Ty Underwood was supposed to meet with Carlton Champion that night. But, she became enraged when Champion fell asleep and failed to call or meet with her. When he awakened, he asked to meet with her. But by that time, Ty Underwood was still upset and felt used by Champion.
Surveillance cameras at Texas College show that on the night of the murder, Carlton Champion left his dorm room at a 2:13 a.m. The shooting, which occurred on West 24th Street in Tyler, was reported at 2:26 a.m. The shooting location was not far from the college.
Police learned that earlier in the day, Ty Underwood discussed her relationship with Carlton Champion on social media, which angered the football player since he desired to keep the relationship a secret. Authorities say that Carlton Champion had been sexually involved with Ty Underwood for weeks before the killing, indicating that he knew exactly that Ty Underwood was a male.
Investigators believe that after Carlton Champion went to meet with Ty Underwood, an argument ensued, resulting in Champion firing shots at Ty. Shots were fired inside and outside of the vehicle. The position of the victim’s body indicated that she tried to speed away.
Carlton Champion was arrested and charged with Tyrone Lee Underwood’s death. He was eligible to receive as little as a few short years in prison, but an outburst in the courtroom sealed his fate. Carlton Champion is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison and is temporarily ineligible for visitation, according to the Texas Department of Corrections.
Ty Underwood, who was known on social media as Ty Kardash, was a nursing assistant at a nursing home. She was also attending college, where she was studying nursing. Those who knew and loved Ty Underwood said that she was a loving person with a good heart.
Ty’s roommate, Coy Simmons, made the following statement, according to KYTX.
“She was lovely, just a lovely person. Very real, down to earth person who didn’t deserve this, did not deserve this at all This has to be a hate crime, this has to be a hate crime, nothing else because that was an upstanding person with a good heart.”
The Facebook pages for both Carlton Champion and Ty Kardash are like snapshots into their lives right up until the tragedy. Take a look at them while you can.
Statistics regarding the gay, lesbian, and transgender community are staggering. According to Time, the following statements are true.
- Transgender people make less than $10,000 a year, with most living in “extreme poverty.”
- To make a better financial living, many transgender men and women seek work in the sex industry, which has its own list of dangers.
- Transgender men and women of color, including black and Hispanic people, are at a greater risk of becoming victims of violence.
- Most research fails to paint a clear picture of the massive amount of violence aimed at transgender people on a daily basis.
Watch Ty Underwood’s story tonight on Fatal Attraction at 9/8 p.m. Central on TV One. Tell us in the comments below: Do you think this former football player with a promising future deserves life in prison?
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