LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A transsexual woman was sentenced Friday to 11 years to life in state prison for a crime she committed as a man nearly two years ago.
Andre Torres, 40, was found guilty Feb. 15 of attempted murder after reportedly plunging a butcher knife into the back of a workers’ compensation attorney on May 20, 2010.
Torres, who prosecutors say was “presenting as a male” at the time of the crime, attacked Joseph Rippinger in a courtroom at the Junipero Serra state office building in downtown Los Angeles.
Deputy District Attorney Hilary Williams says Rippinger told someone over the phone what law firm he worked for. Torres then entered the courtroom and attacked the attorney.
Torres had unsuccessfully disputed a workers’ compensation settlement. The firm Rippington worked for was the same one that had opposed Torres’ claim.
Rippinger had not been involved in Torres’ case, according to the prosecutor.
During the attack — which took place in the same courtroom where Torres’ prior case was heard — Rippinger was able to knock the knife out of Torres’ hand, corner him and scream for help, with another attorney rushing in to help subdue Torres, Williams said.
The victim later underwent two surgeries.
Torres was referred to in Los Angeles Superior Court by Judge Edmund Willcox Clarke Jr. as “Miss Torres.”
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