Trial Date Set for Suspect Accused of Fatally Shooting Transgender Woman in Harford County

Bel Air, Maryland – The trial date has been set for a man accused of murdering a transgender woman in Harford County. Brian Delen, 48, allegedly shot and killed Meghan Riley Lewis in December of last year. The tragic incident took place at an apartment complex on Churchill Road in Bel Air. Delen now faces charges of first- and second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and the use of a firearm in a violent crime.

According to charging documents, Delen, who was delivering food at the time, engaged in a verbal altercation with Lewis before pulling out a handgun and fatally shooting her. He claimed that Lewis took offense to being misgendered. After driving away, Delen was followed on foot by Lewis. Delen eventually stopped his car and confronted her again. It was during this encounter that he fired the fatal shot, hitting Lewis in the abdomen. Lewis was rushed to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center but was pronounced dead that night.

The tragic loss of Meghan Riley Lewis has deeply impacted the Maryland transgender community. Friends and supporters gathered outside the courthouse in Bel Air for a heartfelt vigil in her memory, describing her as a welcoming leader who brought a sense of belonging to many within the community. Her friends fondly remember her signing off her emails with the phrase “Stay sparkly” and recall that she found solace in hiking mountains and dancing at music festivals.

Following the shooting, Delen was initially held without bond at the Harford County Detention Center but was later released on his own recognizance. However, he was rebooked into the detention center on January 31 and subsequently denied home detention on February 2. The case will now be heard by Circuit Court Judge Yolanda Curtin, with the trial scheduled for May 21.

As the trial approaches, the Maryland transgender community remains wary and calls for justice to be served. The devastating loss of Meghan Riley Lewis serves as a stark reminder of the dangers faced by transgender individuals in a society where their existence is often seen as threatening. Yet, amidst the pain and grief, her friends and supporters strive to hold on to the humanity she saw in all of them, keeping her memory alive.