South Carolina Man Convicted of Killing Trans Woman After Rumors Started Spreading About His Secret Affair with Her

Dime Doe
Dime Doe Facebook

A South Carolina man was found guilty Friday of killing a Black transgender woman in the nation's first federal trial over a hate crime based on gender identity.

After deliberating for roughly four hours, jurors convicted Daqua Lameek Ritter of a hate crime for the murder of Dime Doe in August 2019. Ritter was also found guilty of using a firearm in connection with the fatal shooting and obstructing justice. Ritter faces a maximum of life imprisonment without parole.

Doe and Ritter were Having a Secret Sexual Relationship, He Didn't Want Anyone to Find Out About it

Prosecutors accused Ritter of shooting Doe three times with a .22 caliber handgun to prevent further revelation of his involvement with a transgender woman on Aug. 4, 2019.

The four-day trial over Doe's killing centered on the secret sexual relationship between her and Ritter, the latter of whom had grown agitated by the exposure of their affair in the small town of Allendale, according to witness testimony and text messages obtained by the FBI.

Text exchanges between the pair showed Ritter trying to dispel gossip about the relationship in the weeks preceding Doe's death. He also told her that Delasia Green, his main girlfriend at the time, had insulted him with a homophobic slur after learning of the affair. In a July 31 text, Doe said she felt used and Ritter should never have let Green find out about them.

Texts obtained by the FBI suggested that Ritter sought to keep his connection with Doe under wraps as much as possible, prosecutors argued. He reminded her to delete their communications from her phone, and hundreds of texts sent in the month before her death were removed.

Ritter was 'On Edge' on the Day of Doe's Killing, Seen in Same Car She was Later Found Dead in

Daqua Lameek Ritter
Daqua Lameek Ritter Facebook

Prosecutors presented police interviews in which Ritter said he did not see Doe the day she died. But body camera video from a traffic stop of Doe showed Ritter's distinctive left wrist tattoo on a person in the passenger seat hours before police found her slumped in the car, parked in a driveway.

On the day Doe died, a group of friends also noted seeing Ritter ride away in a silver car with tinted windows — a vehicle that Ritter's acquaintance Kordell Jenkins said he had seen Doe drive previously. When Ritter returned several hours later, Jenkins said, he wore a new outfit and appeared "on edge."

Green testified that when Ritter showed up days after the killing at her cousin's house in Columbia, he was dirty, smelly and couldn't stop pacing. Her cousin's boyfriend gave Ritter a ride to the bus stop. Before he left, Green asked him if he had killed Doe.

"He dropped his head and gave me a little smirk," Green said.

"This case stands as a testament to our committed effort to fight violence that is targeted against those who may identify as a member of the opposite sex, for their sexual orientation or for any other protected characteristics," Brook Andrews, an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of South Carolina, told reporters after the verdict.