Man pleads guilty to obstructing justice in 2019 murder of trans woman
A man from South Carolina has pleaded guilty to obstructing an investigation into the murder of Black trans woman Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe.
24-year-old Doe was killed in Allendale County, South Carolina on 4 August 2019 and – at the time – her death marked the second killing of a trans woman in the state within a month.
Her body, which had evidence of gunshot wounds, was found slumped over the steering wheel of a car in the Concord Church and Barnwell roads area of the county.
Earlier in the year, Daqua Ritter, 26, was charged with a hate crime for the murder of Doe because of her gender identity, as well as using a firearm in connection with the hate crime and obstruction of justice.
The indictment also charged Xavier Pinckney, 24, with two obstruction offences for providing false and misleading statements to authorities investigating the killing.
On Thursday (26 October), the Department of Justice issued a statement outlining that Pinckney had pleaded guilty to a single count of obstruction of justice.
The justice department states Pinckney admitted he lied to investigators about having contact with both Doe and Ritter on the day of Doe’s death.
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Pinckney faces up to 20 years in prison for the obstruction of justice offence.
A sentencing date, however, has not yet been set.
“The defendant is being held accountable for trying to obstruct an investigation into the tragic murder of a Black transgender woman,” said Assistant attorney general Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
“Acts of violence against LGBTQI+ people, including transgender women of colour, 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.”
U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs for the District of South Carolina added: “Hate has no place in South Carolina.
“The senseless murder of Dime Doe, and any act of violence against the LGBTQI+ community, confirms the need to confront hate in all its forms.
“Our office will continue to pursue justice for those impacted by bias-motivated crimes.”
“The defendant’s guilty plea underscores our commitment to holding individuals accountable for their actions in the pursuit of justice,” said special agent in charge Steve Jensen of the FBI Columbia Field Office.
Jensen continued: “The FBI and our partners remain determined to investigate crimes against marginalised communities and those who perpetrate them.”
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