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Deleted Texts Uncover Motive Behind Killing of Trans Woman

via ABC15 Arizona
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A federal jury in South Carolina found Daqua Ritter guilty of a hate crime for fatally shooting Dime Doe, a transgender woman he had been secretly dating, making it the first such conviction under that statute.

The jury foreperson, Dee Elder, a transgender, said determining Ritter’s motive was challenging but key text messages between Ritter and Doe showing his fear of their relationship being publicly known proved crucial to establishing it was a hate crime.

“Motive is just a harder thing to prove,” Elder said. “How do you look between someone’s ears?”

The messages demonstrated Ritter was taking advantage of and controlling Doe.

“We are everywhere. If one of us goes down, there’ll be another one of us on the jury,” Elder said. “And we’ve always been here. We’re just now letting ourselves be known.”

“When she had the nerve to be happy about it and wanted to share it with her friends, he got nervous and scared that others would find out, and put an end to it,” Elder said.

“In my personal experience, it can be dangerous for transgender women to date,” Elder said.

The jury foreperson believed their experience as a transgender person provided important perspective that helped the jury understand the real-world dangers of stigma against the transgender community.

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