Two South Carolina men charged following 2019 murder of transgender woman

(NEW YORK) — Over three years after Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe was found dead, the Department of Justice unsealed charges against two men involved in her murder.

A South Carolina man was charged with a hate crime for the 2019 murder of Doe in Allendale, South Carolina, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina. The U.S. Attorney also charged another man with obstruction offenses related to the murder.

The five-count federal indictment alleges that Daqua Ritter, 26, shot Doe on Aug. 4, 2019, “because of her actual and perceived gender identity.” Ritter faces the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for the hate crime count alone. He also faces charges related to lying about his whereabouts on the day of the murder to federal investigators.

Another man, 24-year-old Xavier Pinckney, was charged with two obstruction counts for allegedly lying about seeing Ritter after the murder and concealing from investigators that his phone was used to call and text Doe on the day of the murder.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, Doe’s death marked the second murder of a transgender woman in South Carolina within a month that summer. On July 20, 2019, Denali Berries Stuckey was killed in North Charleston. Both Stuckey and Doe were black transgender women.

“As occurs far too often in the reporting of anti-transgender violence, initial reports also misgendered and misnamed Doe in coverage of the crime, delaying HRC’s awareness of her death,” HRC wrote in 2019.

According to the Department of Justice, transgender persons are 2.5 times more likely to be violent crime victims than cisgender people.

In 2019 when Doe and Stuckley were murdered, 23 other transgender or gender non-conforming were killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

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