SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The New York State Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s ruling that overturned the hate crime conviction of a man accused of killing a transgender woman in 2008.
The Syracuse Post-Standard on Nov. 24 reported the state’s highest court ruled that Onondaga County prosecutors can retry Dwight DeLee on the hate crime charge in connection with Lateisha “Teish” Green’s murder.
Prosecutors contend DeLee shot Green outside a Syracuse house party in November 2008.
DeLee in 2009 was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime. The verdict is the first time a New York jury found a defendant guilty of a fatal hate crime against a trans person.
A New York appellate court in July 2013 overturned DeLee’s conviction, arguing the jury’s verdict was “inconsistent.”
“Lateisha Green was singled out and killed simply because she was transgender,” said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which represents Green’s family. “Dwight DeLee’s conviction brought a measure of justice to Teish’s family and friends. In light of today’s ruling, we urge the Onondaga County District Attorney to bring new hate crime charges against DeLee.”