South Carolina Man Found Guilty in First Federal Gender-Based Hate Crime Trial

The man has been convicted for the 2019 murder of a transgender woman.

Transgender pride flag waving against a pale sky
Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty Images
Transgender pride flag waving against a pale sky

A South Carolina man has been found guilty of murder in the first federal gender-based hate crime trial.

As reported by the Associated Press, jurors on Friday convicted Daqua Lameek Ritter of a hate crime for the murder of a transgender woman, who's referred to as Dime Doe in court documents, in 2019.

The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that on Aug. 4, 2019, Ritter convinced Doe to drive to a secluded place in South Carolina near a relative's home where he fatally shot her three times in the head. Ritter killed Doe after she allegedly exposed their affair to people in their small town of Allendale.

"His crime was motivated by his anger at being mocked for having a sexual relationship with a transgender woman," lawyers wrote in a filing last January.

The case is the first gender-based hate crime that has made it to trial.

“This case stands as a testament to our committed effort to fight violence that is targeted against those who may identify as a member of the opposite sex, for their sexual orientation or for any other protected characteristics,” Brook Andrews, an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of South Carolina, said after the verdict was handed down.

Ritter, who was arrested last January and faces a maximum of life imprisonment without parole, has not yet been sentenced. Ritter could receive multiple life sentences if convicted by a jury.

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