Man Charged In Murder of Trans Woman India Clarke

By Kenrya Rankin Jul 30, 2015

It looks as if justice may be on its way for 25-year-old India Clarke, the transgender woman who was discovered dead from a gunshot wound to the head in a Tampa park on July 25, 2015. 

On Wednesday, Keith Gaillard turned himself in to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The 18-year-old Tampa resident was charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm as a convicted ex-offender. According to Tampa Bay Times, it was his 25th arrest. The sheriff’s office says Gaillard and Clarke had a “personal relationship.” 

“I’m not glad, because [India’s] gone. But I’m glad they did investigate it and her life mattered enough for them to try to find who harmed her,” said Charles Thomas, a friend of Clarke’s.

He has a car to thank for the arrest. When police arrived at the crime scene, there was a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu rented in Clarke’s name parked near her body. In the car, detectives found a cigar wrapper with Gaillard’s fingerprint and a used condom that contained his DNA. They also found his skin beneath her nails. When they questioned Gaillard, he had a scratch on his neck. The police also interviewed a witness who said that the day after Clarke was killed, Gaillard told him, “I think I killed somebody.”

His Facebook page also offered clues: A photo of him with a gun aligned with witness accounts of a weapon he usually carried, but sold to someone just days after the murder. Gaillard is being held without bond.