NC man tied to killings of two transgender women charged with murder in Union County

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A North Carolina man already charged with the killing of two transgender women in Charlotte has now been accused of an additional murder in Union County.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that convicted felon Joel Brewer, 34, of Marshville, has been charged with the fatal shooting of Joshua Tramaine Allen, 33, whose body was found near Wingate on Feb. 9.

Joel Brewer
Joel Brewer

Union County Chief Deputy Tony Underwood told the Observer on Wednesday that surveillance video from a Marshville convenience store showed Brewer and Allen together on the night of Jan. 23, when Allen disappeared.

Brewer, in custody in the Mecklenburg County Jail, already has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the April shooting deaths of Jaida Peterson, 29, and Remy Fennell, 28.

The killings were 11 days apart. Both women were sex workers and were found in Charlotte motels, the Observer previously reported.

2 people arrested after transgender women murdered in Charlotte. FBI assisted CMPD.

A second man, Dontarius Long, 21, also is charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with one of the motel killings.

On Wednesday, Brewer was served at the jail with arrest warrants connected to Allen’s death, including first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and felony concealment of death by secretly disposing of a human body, according to a statement from the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Allen died of multiple gunshot wounds. Said Underwood, “We’re confident Mr. Brewer is responsible.”

The Union County Sheriff’s Office posted this photo of Joshua Tramaine Allen in January after the 33-year-old Wingate man went missing. His body was found Feb. 9, 2021. On June 16, Joel Brewer was charged with Allen’s death.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office posted this photo of Joshua Tramaine Allen in January after the 33-year-old Wingate man went missing. His body was found Feb. 9, 2021. On June 16, Joel Brewer was charged with Allen’s death.

Underwood acknowledged “the fairly close window” between Allen’s death and the killings of the transgender women in Charlotte two months later. But he said investigators do not yet have a motive in the Union County killing.

“That would be pure speculation on our part,” he said. “To be honest ... we don’t know what happened between the two.”

“The investigation had reached a stage where the arrest was necessary to give Mr. Allen’s family closure and in hopes that more information will come forward,” Underwood said.

Brewer, according to the statement, has a history of violence. In 2011, according to the sheriff’s statement, he was convicted of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with a botched drug-related robbery in which one of his accomplices was fatally shot.

Brewer and his remaining co-conspirators dumped the body on a Monroe street, the sheriff’s office said.

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