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Federal Trial Begins for Alleged Hate Crime in Death of Black Transgender Woman

The nation’s first federal trial over an alleged hate crime based on gender identity has commenced in Allendale, South Carolina. The trial centers around the death of Dime Doe, a Black transgender woman, who was found slumped over in her car on August 4, 2019. Prosecutors argue that Doe’s secret relationship with Daqua Lameek Ritter, a man she affectionately referred to as “my man,” led to her untimely demise.

Details surrounding the events leading up to Doe’s death have started to emerge as the prosecution presents its case. Text exchanges between Doe and Ritter reveal their efforts to conceal their affair, with Ritter urging Doe to delete their communications. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Ritter fatally shot Doe to prevent further exposure of their relationship in a small town where rumors were already circulating.

Doe, known for her outspoken personality and vibrant style, had begun her social transition shortly after graduating high school. Her friends testified that she embraced her identity as a woman, dressing in skirts, getting her nails done, and going out with friends. Ritter, who visited Allendale during the summer, became close to Doe, causing suspicion among his regular girlfriend, Delasia Green. Ritter initially claimed that he and Doe were cousins, but Green discovered messages on his phone that suggested otherwise.

Witnesses testified that Ritter’s relationship with Doe intensified despite the drama surrounding their involvement. However, text messages exchanged between the two grew tense in the weeks leading up to Doe’s death. Doe expressed feeling used and betrayed, while Ritter complained about Doe’s expectations and mentioned derogatory remarks made by his girlfriend.

Additional testimony against Ritter includes accounts from friends who saw him leaving with Doe’s car on the day she died. When he returned later that day, witnesses noticed his change in demeanor and observed him emptying his bag into a fire barrel. The following day, Ritter was seen with a small firearm tucked into his waistband, according to a witness.

After Doe’s death, rumors circulated in Allendale that Ritter was responsible. Green testified that when Ritter visited her cousin’s house in Columbia, he appeared agitated and gave a smirk when asked if he had killed Doe. Ritter monitored the aftermath of Doe’s death from New York, exchanging Facebook messages with a friend from Allendale. The friend warned Ritter to stay away from the town as he had been visited by state police.

In January 2023, federal officials charged Ritter with a hate crime for the murder of a transgender woman based on her gender identity. He was also charged with obstruction of justice. Xavier Pinckney, the friend who exchanged messages with Ritter, was charged with obstructing justice for providing false and misleading statements.

Author: CrimeDoor

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