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Murderer Who Had Sex Change Sentenced to Transgendered Unit
By Associated Press
Published: 12/16/2002

A New Hampshire man who had a sex change operation decades ago was sentenced to 22 years to life in a transgendered prison unit for killing his sister. 
Joseph Shanley, 66, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the October 2001 death of Ann Cavanaugh, had asked to be incarcerated at the state prison for women. 
But prosecutors worked out an agreement instead to send Shanley to a Connecticut men's prison that has a special transgendered unit, said Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin. 
''For people with needs like his, people with transgender issues, the closest place is Connecticut,'' Strelzin told The Valley News before the brief sentencing hearing. 
If that plan fails, Shanley will be held in the women's prison in Goffstown, Strelzin said. 
Shanley was accused of shooting Cavanaugh, 68, to death in the Claremont home they shared. 
Chris Keating, director of the New Hampshire Public Defender Program, said he was relieved the case was resolved to everyone's apparent satisfaction. 
In August, Shanley's attorneys filed a motion in Sullivan County Superior Court asking that the court declare ''Jo'' Shanley a woman and place him in a women's prison for safety reasons as well as because of his perceived gender. 
According to the motion, Shanley went to Casablanca in 1969 for sexual reassignment surgery. Afterward, he continued dressing as a man and working as a machinist to keep his job and income, but dressed and acted as a woman outside work. 
Shanley and his sister had bought a house together and retired to Claremont from Billerica, Mass., about four weeks before Cavanaugh was killed. The arrangement wasn't working out, however, and they had put the house back on the market. 
Shanley called police around 11 p.m. on Oct. 4, reporting that he had come home to find his sister dead on a bedroom floor. 
However, real estate agents who came to show the house to a couple from Sunapee that afternoon told police they heard several loud popping noises as they approached the house. 


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