Homicide victim's mother 'relieved' after suspect's indictment

Joann McFadden still awaiting news of arrest

SAN ANTONIO – The mother of a transgender woman, who was killed in April, said she is relieved to hear the news of an indictment in the case.

Joann McFadden said she received a phone call Tuesday from a staff member at the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, telling her that Mark Daniel Lewis, 20, had been charged with manslaughter.

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McFadden’s daughter, Kenne McFadden, 26, drowned in the San Antonio River near Commerce Street in April. 

Two months later, San Antonio police investigators labeled the death a homicide.

"It brought some relief to me to know that the person finally is going to be charged,” Joann McFadden said. "I have prayed so much during this process."

Her prayers, though, are not completely answered yet.

As of Wednesday morning, court records showed although there was an active warrant for Lewis’ arrest, he had not been taken into custody.

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Joann McFadden said she hopes that when he is arrested, she’ll be able to get some answers, including what led to the death of Kenne, who she still calls her “baby.”

"For that person to push Kenne in the river and keep going,” she said. "You know, personally, I'm thinking it could be a hate crime.”

During the past few months, the mother of three said she has relied on relatives and members of her newfound LGBTQ “family” for comfort.

She said the Thanksgiving holiday was especially difficult without her child.

Coming to terms with her grief, she says, could take years.

In the meantime, Joann McFadden plans to closely monitor the criminal case against the alleged killer.

She said while the judicial process is just beginning, she already has an ending for the suspect in mind.

“I want the maximum sentence that he can get,” she said. "I feel like he deserves life.”

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