Two South Carolina men have been charged with hate crime and obstruction offenses, a five-count federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday revealed, per a statement by the Department of Justice.
Dime Doe, a transgender woman, 24, was found on Aug. 4, 2019 slumped over the steering wheel of her car after being shot in Allendale County, along the South Carolina-Georgia border, according to the State Law Enforcement Division, the Post and Courtier previously reported. Doe’s death occurred about two weeks after Denali Stuckey, a 29-year-old transgender woman, was fatally shot in North Charleston on July 20, per the report.
Daqua Ritter, 26, has been charged with a hate crime for the murder of Doe because of her gender identity; using a firearm in connection with the hate crime; and obstruction of justice, according to the filing. The indictment also charged Xavier Pinckney, 24, with two obstruction offenses for providing false and misleading statements to authorities investigating the murder of Doe. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Columbia Field Office.
“They have hurt us in the worst way, the very worst way,” Doe’s aunt Rhonda Doe told News Channel 6 following the news of her death.
“[Dime] always been a friendly person to everyone. The joy of anyone’s life,” Barbara Kolberg, a family member, added. “There has been too many killing going on and no one is doing anything about it.”
The indictment alleges that Ritter shot Doe because of “Dime Doe’s actual and perceived gender identity.” The indictment also claims that Ritter misled state investigators regarding his whereabouts the day of the murder, and that Pinckney lied to to state and federal investigators about seeing Ritter after the morning of the murder, in addition to concealing from state investigators the use of his phone on the day of the murder to call and text Dime Doe.
Doe was identified by family and the Alliance for Full Acceptance, a Charleston-based LGBTQ advocacy organization. Two days after Dime’s death, Executive Director Chase Glenn, who also identifies as transgender, released the following statement: “I’m devastated by the news of Dime Doe’s murder in Allendale County. While our community is still reeling from the murder of one of our transgender sisters in North Charleston just two weeks ago, we now learn that a second black trans woman has been murdered not even one hundred miles away.”
Glenn added, “Black trans women live at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, are too often treated as disposable, and are experiencing epidemic levels of violence. We are at a crisis point that demands the nation’s attention.”
If convicted, Ritter faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for the hate crime count, while both Ritter and Pinckney face a a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment for obstruction of justice.