Murderer or Victim? Family of Teen Charged as Adult Say She Was Sex-Trafficked

Crime

Spalding bad beat jackpot betonline Before the summer of 2019, Zephaniah Trevino – known as “Zephi” to friends and family – was living like a typical teen. She was a sophomore in high school at Grand Prairie, Texas. Her mom, Crystal Trevino, says Zephi “lit up a room with her smile and laughter.”

Center Point free gay dating near maplewood mn At the end of the school year, her family noticed her mood and appearance started to change. Zephi, who was 16 at the time, started to lose weight. She also had dark circles under her eyes and bruises on her body.

online gay dating in kingswood park “That summer was pretty much like a hurricane,” Crystal said.

fair go casino no deposit free spins 2020 On the night of August 3, 2019, Crystal recalls Zephi climbing onto the couch with her, crying and trying to bury herself under her mother. When Crystal asked what was wrong, Zephi wouldn’t answer.

freaky friends and fan fiction why isnt austin dating ally seductively “I felt something was really bad,” Crystal says. “Something was really wrong.”

no deposit slot sites Magalang It was worse than Crystal ever imagined.

According to authorities, earlier that day, Zephi — along with Jesse Martinez, then 18, and Philip Baldenegro, then 19 — had taken part in a robbery that left one man dead from a gunshot wound and another injured.

Zephi, Martinez, and Baldenegro have now been arrested and charged with murder and aggravated robbery. All 3 have pleaded not guilty. Zephi has since been charged as an adult, though she was only 16 at the time of the shooting.

It is clear that Zephi was at the scene of the deadly shooting. However, why she was there in the first place has become the center of a heated dispute.

Her parents and her lawyer, civil rights attorney Justin Moore, claim Zephi was being sex-trafficked by Baldenegro who was using her as bait to lure two men to the scene that day.

Baldenegro has allegedly confessed that he was the one holding the gun when the shots went off. However, authorities say Zephi was complicit in the crime.

Since Zephi’s arrest, her case has gained national attention. Music mogul Jason Flom discussed it on his popular podcast Wrongful Conviction last year. Celebrities such as Jamie Lee Curtis have spoken out on her behalf, insisting she is a victim of sex trafficking and not a killer.

While Baldenegro’s attorney, David Finn, maintains that his client was in a consensual relationship with Zephi, who he says, “set the whole thing up.”

Sex trafficking advocates say the exploitation of underage girls and the complex ways they are controlled are being ignored in this case.

“We have evidence to show she was being sex trafficked and abused by the triggerman in this case,” says Zephi’s attorney. “She should be receiving services, not punishment.”

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