According to a press release dated October 26 from the U.S. Department of Justice, a South Carolina man known as Xavier Pinckney has pleaded guilty to obstructing an investigation into the murder of Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe, a Black trans woman.
Doe was found dead in a car parked on a rural road in Allendale County, South Carolina, August 4, 2019, after being shot three times in the head. Court documents revealed Pinckney, 24, provided false information to state authorities who were investigating Doe’s homicide,
“The defendant is being held accountable for trying to obstruct an investigation into the tragic murder of a Black transgender woman,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Acts of violence against LGBTQI+ people, including transgender women of color, are on the rise and have no place in our society. The Justice Department remains steadfast in its commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who target LGBTQI+ people with acts of violence or who try to unlawfully obstruct investigations into these heinous crimes.”
Daqua Ritter, 27, is being charged with first degree murder in the death of Doe. According to the release, Pinckney told investigators he failed to disclose his phone and text conversations with Doe on the day of her murder. He also didn’t mention he saw Ritter the morning of Doe’s death.
“Hate has no place in South Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs for the District of South Carolina. “The senseless murder of Dime Doe, and any act of violence against the LGBTQI+ community, confirms the need to confront hate in all its forms. Our office will continue to pursue justice for those impacted by bias-motivated crimes.”
Pinckney is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison for obstruction. A federal district court judge will determine the sentence based on aggravating and mitigating factors presented by the legal teams. A sentencing date has not been established.
“The defendant’s guilty plea underscores our commitment to holding individuals accountable for their actions in the pursuit of justice,” said Special Agent in Charge Steve Jensen of the FBI Columbia Field Office. “The FBI and our partners remain determined to investigate crimes against marginalized communities and those who perpetrate them.”