Chester, Illinois, US – Sora Kuykendall was 20-years-old when he stabbed to death his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, a high school student who had recently broken things off with Mr. Kuykendall due to his longterm pattern of abusing her. Currently serving a 40-year sentence for the savage crime, the killer claims he has “identified as female” since age six.
When the Illinois Department of Corrections did not immediately comply with Mr. Kuykendall’s demand for hormones that would feminize his appearance, he forced the state’s hand by attempting to castrate his own testicles. Once provided with hormones and a bra, he procured the legal aide of the local ACLU, and is suing Illinois for multiple demands, including a higher dosage of hormones and gender-affirming surgery. He is also appealing his sentence, claiming that being transgender put him in a mental state that made him unable to fully understand the consequences of his guilty plea.
Beatings Escalate to Murder
After four years of dating Mr. Kuykendall, Erin Schneider had had enough of the beatings he inflicted on her. The teen broke off their relationship and filed an emergency order of protection against Mr. Kuykendall, who was named Jordan at that time.
According to the girl’s mother ShellyAnn, Mr. Kuykendall had regularly abused Ms. Schneider over the course of the relationship. A law enforcement source confirmed that they had investigated at least one earlier allegation of intimate partner violence.
The hearing for the order of protection was set for two weeks after the filing date.
On June 27, 2013, just hours before the scheduled hearing, Ms. Schneider went to Mr. Kuykendall’s home. At some point after Mr. Kuykendall let her inside, he mercilessly stabbed his former girlfriend multiple times in the neck and torso.
The killer fled the scene in his car, and crashed head-on into another vehicle a mile away.
Mr. Kuykendall’s older brother, a registered sex offender, found Ms. Schneider’s body in the house when he awakened.
Thomas Coppotelli, deputy commander of the Major Case Squad, said the teen had gone to meet with her abuser out of naiveté. She was a “truly innocent victim,” he said, “who was caught in a bad situation.”
Mr. Kuykendall was charged with first-degree murder by June 30. In January 2014, months after his arrest, he declared himself transgender. He pleaded guilty in November 2014.
Killer’s Class-Action Lawsuit
Mr. Kuykendall is part of a class-action lawsuit against the state’s Department of Corrections, which was brought by six biologically male transgender plaintiffs who are fighting for the state to cater to their beliefs in their gender identity.
One of the six men, convicted killer Janiah Monroe, was transferred to a women’s facility nine days ago. The ACLU of Illinois also fought successfully to have male convicted burglar Strawberry (formerly Deon) Hampton transferred to a women’s prison in late December.
Mr. Kuykendall is arguing that when the state accepted his guilty plea, there was a “substantial denial” of rights under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects against “cruel and unusual punishment.” He claimed that the emotional stress of being transgender, combined with major depression and a personality disorder, made him unable to fully understand the consequences of pleading guilty.
Read more on this story
A status hearing was held last Wednesday morning at the Monroe County Courthouse regarding Jordan Kuykendall, who is serving a 40-year sentence at Menard Correctional Center in Chester for the June 27, 2013, stabbing death of former girlfriend and Columbia High School student Erin Schneider.
St. Louis Post Dispatch
COLUMBIA, Ill. • A man who crashed his car Thursday shortly before his ex-girlfriend was found stabbed to death at his house in Columbia has been charged with first-degree murder.
COLUMBIA, IL (KTVI) – Erin Schneider was due in court to push an order of protection when police found her murdered. In court documents filed by her mother, Schneider claims her ex-boyfriend Jordan Kuykendall abused her. No one is charged in Schneider`s murder, but here are the facts as we know them.
THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS JANIAH MONROE, MARILYN MELENDEZ, EBONY STAMPS, LYDIA HELÉNA VISION, SORA KUYKENDALL, and SASHA REED, Plaintiffs, v. BRUCE RAUNER, JOHN BALDWIN, STEVE MEEKS, and MELVIN HINTON, Defendants.