Teisha Cannon murder: case to proceed as a hate crime prosecution

June 5, 2009

Last November 14, 2008, less than a week before the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a cis man, Dwight R. DeLee, shot Teisha Cannon as she sat in a car with her brother Mark. Police charged Mr DeLee, of Syracuse, with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.

Via the Post-Standard of November 17, 2008:

“There was no previous argument between these individuals, there was no previous fight, there was no bad blood,” [Syracuse police Chief Gary Miguel] said. “Our suspect took a rifle and shot and killed this person, also wounding [her] brother, for the sole reason he didn’t care for the sexual preference of our victim. Isn’t that sad? Isn’t that a sad situation that that’s the sole reason why?”


From the outset, Cannon’s family said his death should be treated as a hate crime.

Via the Post-Standard of June 4, 2008:

County Judge William Walsh today upheld the constitutionality of the state’s hate crime law in the murder prosecution of Dwight DeLee.

DeLee is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in the Nov. 14 shooting death of Moses Cannon. Cannon was described by [her] family as a transsexual who went by the name Latiesha “Teish” Green. The prosecution contends the victim was targeted because of sexual orientation.

Defense lawyer Clarence Johnson had asked Walsh to find the hate crime law unconstitutionally vague and general and unconstitutional in its specific application to DeLee.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Doran defended the statute and the prosecution of DeLee in court this morning.

After listening to the legal arguments, Walsh sided with the prosecution and allowed the case to go forward as a hate crime murder prosecution.


Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia


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