Three men charged with hate crimes in shooting of trans woman Deeniquia Dodds
Three men have been indicted in connection with the murder of Deeniquia Doods, a black trans women who was shot during a robbery last year.
Jalonte Little, Monte T. Johnson and Cyheme Hall have been charged for robbery conspiracy and first-degree felony murder – a murder which prosecutors say was motivated by Dodd’s gender identity.
The Washington Post reported that the men are also being charged with four other robberies that took place on the same day, July 4, including one which saw another trans woman robbed.
Deeniquia Dodds was shot and died nine days later in the hospital.
Hate crime has been added to the charges of the men, meaning that a judge could increase the sentences if convicted from the maximum of 60 years for first-degree murder while armed to 90 years.
Earline Budd, a trans advocate working in the area, praised the charges.
“It sends a message that it’s not OK to go around and shoot, harm and kill transgender people,” Budd said. “It sends a message that we are human like anyone else.”
Dodds’ aunt, JoeAnn Lewis, spoke about the murder just days ago and called for people to “stop hurting em’, leave em’ be”.
Dodds was part of the transgender advocacy organisation Casa Ruby. Ruby Corado, the founder and executive director of the group said to Mic: “Deeniquia was part of the Casa Ruby family, and she is gone, but not forgotten. Her death will not be in vain.”
Corado added, “Casa Ruby denounces the genocide of young trans women of colour. People in leadership need to address the employment barriers that keeps trans women of colour from accessing the resources they need to grow healthy and thrive.”