Man Found Guilty Of Killing Transgender Woman In First Federal Gender Identity Hate Crime Case


In a landmark case, a man has been convicted of killing a transgender woman in what is believed to be the first federal trial over a hate crime based on gender identity in the United States.

Jurors in South Carolina unanimously determined that Daqua Lameek Ritter fatally shot Dime Doe in August 2019 due to her gender identity.

The verdict comes after a four-day trial during which witnesses testified that Ritter, agitated by his girlfriend discovering his relationship with Doe, lured her to a remote rural area in the southeastern state and shot her three times.

Prosecutors argued that Ritter’s actions were aimed at silencing Doe after their affair was exposed in the small town of Allendale. Following the killing, Ritter fled to New York but was later apprehended. In addition to the murder charge, Ritter was also convicted of using a firearm in connection with the crime and obstructing justice.

The sentencing for Ritter has yet to be announced.

While prosecutions involving gender identity have occurred in the past, this case marks the first instance of such a trial reaching a federal court. In 2017, a man in Mississippi received a 49-year prison term as part of a plea deal related to the killing of a transgender woman.

The conviction comes amid a concerning rise in hate-motivated crimes across the country.

According to an FBI report released last year, crimes driven by hate and bias increased by 11.6% in 2021, with over 9,000 incidents recorded—the highest number since the FBI began tracking the data in 1990.

As the legal landscape evolves to address hate crimes based on gender identity, this trial sets a significant precedent for ensuring justice and accountability in cases of violence against transgender individuals.