Federal Hate Crime Trial Continues Over Allendale Murder of LaDime Doe, a Black Transgender Woman

By | February 22, 2024

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federal hate crime trial Allendale trans murder case
hate crime trial Allendale trans murder.

Accident – Death – Obituary News :

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – The trial over the hate crime based on gender identity continues in federal court on Wednesday, focusing on the Allendale murder of Dime Doe, a Black transgender woman.

During the trial, Daqua Ritter’s ex-girlfriend, Delasia Green, provided crucial testimony. Green, who was in a relationship with Ritter at the time of Doe’s murder, was arrested for failing to comply with a subpoena to testify before the government.

Green revealed that she became suspicious and decided to go through Ritter’s phone, where she discovered incriminating text messages between Ritter and an unsaved number, later identified as Doe’s phone number.

Upon questioning Ritter about his relationship with Doe, Green was met with hostility as Ritter refused to acknowledge the nature of their communication. This confrontation led to further tension between the couple.

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In addition to Green’s testimony, the jury heard from various locals in Allendale, including friends of both Doe and Ritter. Special agents from the FBI also presented text messages exchanged between Doe and Ritter as evidence.

The trial began with opening arguments on Tuesday, where Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Garner painted Ritter as someone desperate to conceal his secret relationship with Doe to avoid societal ridicule.

According to Garner, Ritter’s anger was triggered when he learned that Doe’s friend was aware of their relationship, leading to threats of violence towards the friend for disclosing the information.

Prosecutors allege that Ritter orchestrated Doe’s murder in August 2019 due to her gender identity, both real and perceived. They claim that Ritter’s girlfriend discovered the affair prior to the killing, causing him distress.

LaDime Doe

LaDime Doe
(Contributed)

Garner referenced text messages exchanged between Ritter and Doe, indicating Ritter’s frustration with the situation mere days before the murder.

The prosecution contends that Ritter misled authorities about his whereabouts on the day of the murder. They claim he sought assistance from others to dispose of incriminating evidence and mislead investigators.

Daqua Lameek Ritter

Daqua Lameek Ritter
(Contributed)

The first witness for the prosecution was Allendale County Sheriff James Freeman, who described the discovery of Doe’s body in a remote location following a distress call.

Freeman recounted the scene, noting the presence of Doe’s body in a vehicle and the subsequent investigation that led to Ritter’s involvement in the case.

Additional testimony from a SLED agent provided further insight into the crime scene, with detailed descriptions of the evidence collected, including bloodstains, personal belongings, and firearm casings.

Trends in Hate Crimes

The trial sheds light on a concerning trend of violence against the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender individuals. LaDime Doe’s case is just one of many tragic incidents in the CSRA region.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, transgender women of color have historically faced disproportionate rates of violence and hate crimes. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in gender identity-based hate crimes, as reported by the FBI.

Prior to 2009, federal hate crime legislation did not specifically address offenses motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The ongoing trial marks a pivotal moment in holding perpetrators accountable for crimes based on gender identity.

This case underscores the urgent need for greater awareness and support for the LGBTQ+ community, as efforts to combat hate crimes continue to be a priority.

WRDW’s Sydney Hood and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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