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Yasmin Vash Payne, 33

Yasmin Payne, a 33-year-old transgender woman, was fatally stabbed Saturday, Jan. 31, in the 14600 block of Saticoy Street in Van Nuys, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

About 5 a.m., firefighters responded to a call of a fire. Firefighters forced entry into an apartment and extinguished a small blaze in a back bedroom.

Payne was found with multiple stab wounds on the kitchen floor of the apartment and was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:30 a.m., said Ed Winter, assistant chief of investigations for the coroner’s office.

Police said a weapon believed to have been used in the killing was found at the scene.  

The next day, Ezekiel Jamal Dear, a 25-year-old black man, turned himself in to police at a South Los Angeles police station. He was accompanied by a pastor.

Dear was charged Feb. 3 with one count of murder and one count of arson, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. He pleaded not guilty, according to prosecutors.

Anyone with information can call the Van Nuys detective desk at (818) 374-0040. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Los Angeles Times Staff

Note: The coroner's office identified Payne as Michael Vash Payne, a 33-year-old man. Payne also went by Yasmin Vash Payne. Since Payne identified as a woman, The Homicide Report has done so as well.

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