Prosecutors seek death penalty in transgender teen’s killing

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HOUSTON, Mo. – Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for one of the suspects in the slaying of a transgender teenager in southwest Missouri.

Court records show plans requesting the sentence for Andrew Vrba were filed Monday. Vrba is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Ally Steinfeld. Vrba’s attorney hasn’t responded to an email seeking comment.

Investigators say Steinfeld was stabbed several times, including in the genitals. Her eyes were gouged out and her body was set on fire. Officials say the slaying wasn’t a hate crime.

Steinfeld’s remains were found in September near Cabool.

One female suspect has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for second-degree murder, while another awaits a first-degree murder trial. A fourth suspect has pleaded not guilty to abandonment of a corpse.

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