South Carolina Man Pleads Guilty for Role in Murder of Black Transgender Woman
Author: Donald Padgett
A man pleaded guilty to obstruction charges in a federal court on Thursday for his role in the 2019 murder of a Black transgender woman.
Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe, 24, was found shot to death in her car in Allendale, South Carolina, on August 4, 2019. She was the second trans woman murdered in the state within a month at the time. Earlier this year, two men were arrested and indicted for Doe’s murder.
Prosecutors say Daqua Ritter, 26, fired the bullet that killed Doe. In February he was charged with a hate crime for murdering a person because of their gender identity, using a firearm in connection with a hate crime, and obstruction of justice. Xavier Pinckney, 24, was charged with two obstruction offenses for providing false and misleading statements to authorities investigating the murder.
On Thursday, Pinckney pleaded guilty to a single count of obstruction of justice, according to a statement from the Department of Justice. He admitted he lied to investigators about calling and texting Doe on the day of her murder and about seeing Ritter on the morning of the murder. Pinckney was not charged with an actual count of murder, and questions remain about his full involvement in the case.
“The defendant is being held accountable for trying to obstruct an investigation into the tragic murder of a Black transgender woman,” Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “Acts of violence against LGBTQI+ people, including transgender women of color, are on the rise and have no place in our society. The Justice Department remains steadfast in its commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who target LGBTQI+ people with acts of violence or who try to unlawfully obstruct investigations into these heinous crimes.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Doe’s death was the 15th known case of deadly violence against the trans community at the time, and the second such death in South Carolina. The body of Denali Berries Stuckey, also a Black transgender woman, was found lying along a road in North Charleston at about 4:05 a.m. on July 20. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ritter remains under arrest awaiting trial.
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Donald Padgett