More developments in the horrific murder of Lateisha Green, a young black transgender woman in Syracuse, New York. The victim was in the process of transitioning and reportedly shared this information with the alleged shooter. The family of the accused killer "doesn't believe" Dwight DeLee gunned down the transgender woman and maintains he did "not" have extreme dislike of gay and transgender persons. The family also introduces the murder victim's criminal record ...
Two uncles are quoted as maintaining DeLee's innocence and claim he was "set up" as a fall guy because he was on parole. One uncle, Greg DeLee Sr, is quoted as saying his nephew could have "only" committed the murder if he were "provoked or under the influence."
The family maintains DeLee's innocence despite the presence of two eyewitnesses to the shooting—including Lateisha's 18-year-old gay brother, who was also shot. There is also an alleged accomplice who says Lateisha Green was "lured" to the party.
DeLee is charged with second degree murder and plead not guilty. He is being held without bail. The Onondaga County District could beef up the murder charges with hate crime charges.
The family tries to gain sympathy by portraying the Dwight DeLee as a victim of the criminal justice system and says "at least six members of the DeLee family are in jail." That is a common defense and not surprising. What is disturbing is that the family introduces the victim's criminal record—providing evidence the murder victim was charged in May 2008 with felony assault and misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon. In the light of Greg DeLee's comments about his nephew possibly being "provoked" this is no small matter. The claims of provocation and the introduction of the victim's arrest record gives rise to suspicions the suspect may claim self-defense, or, a "gay-" or "trans-panic" defense.
Some Background ...
Will Hate Crimes Charges Be Filed in Syracuse Transgender Murder? [R20]
No Bail for Syracuse Suspect, Victim ID'd as Trans [R20]
Black Syracuse Man Killed Simply for "Being Gay" [R20]