TLDEF reports via Twitter that Dwight R. DeLee has been found guilty of first degree manslaughter as a hate crime.
ETA: Associated Press has this to say (via)
NY man guilty of hate crime in transgender slaying
(AP) – 34 minutes ago
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A jury in upstate New York has convicted a man of a hate crime for killing a transgender woman.
Dwight DeLee was found guilty of manslaughter for the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Lateisha (lah-TEE’-shuh) Green outside a Syracuse house party in November because of anti-gay bias. The jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for about six hours over two days.
DeLee faces additional prison time because he was convicted of a hate crime. He becomes just the second person in the U.S. convicted of a hate crime that involved a transgender victim.
Further ETA: First, it must be said that Teish’s family are on record as being satisfied with the verdict. I fully accept and respect their views on the matter, and send my condolences to the family.
In the statement released by her family, they say:
The jury convicted Dwight Delee of murdering Teish in cold blood. They found him guilty of targeting Teish simply because of her difference. And the jury has made it clear that any loss of life in our city and county because of anti-gay and anti-transgender bias is unacceptable and wrong. justice has been done.
(Via GLAAD, link here)
But I have to say that – personally – I’m disappointed that the legal process reduced the charge from second-degree murder to manslaughter in the first degree. In passing, the DA’s office is to be commended for proceeding with the hate crime charge, despite challenges by Mr Delee’s lawyers.
Also, although the case is notable for being the first hate crime conviction for the death of a trans person in New York, the current state of the legislation in NY includes real or perceived sexual orientation – but excludes gender identity. Meaning that Mr Delee was found guilty of a hate crime based on his perception of Lateisha Green’s sexual orientation – not her gender identity. And as we know, Mr Delee considered Teish to be a gay man, and not a trans woman.
In my opinion, this is a glaring omission in NY’s hate crime legislation, and one which I hope will be remedied as quickly as possible.
Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia
Previous related posts:
- Coverage of Lateisha Green trial next week (July 9, 2009)
- Lateisha Green: hate crime trial starts on Monday, July 13 (July 3, 2009)
- Teisha Cannon murder: case to proceed as a hate crime prosecution (June 5, 2009)
- So that makes four trans people dead so far this month (November 18, 2008)