NY Court of Appeals allows retrial of hate crime charge for killing of Syracuse trans woman

Today, the New York State Court of Appeals announced that it will allow the Onondaga County District Attorney to retry Dwight DeLee, the man accused of killing a transgender woman, Lateisha Green, in 2008, while overturning his previous conviction. This decision follows a hearing held in October to reconsider the 2013 ruling that struck down DeLee's conviction.  GLAAD worked with advocates and the family of Lateisha Green to bring attention to that hearing and its implications.

In 2009, a jury found DeLee guilty of manslaughter as a hate crime after evidence in the trial demonstrated that he had targeted Green due to anti-LGBT bias. At the time, GLAAD and several advocacy organizations worked together to bring attention to the case.

DeLee's conviction was set aside by the New York State Fourth Appellate Division in July 2013 because of what the court viewed as an "inconsistent" verdict. In October of that year, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Lambda Legal, Empire State Pride Agenda, the NYU School of Law, and several other organizations filed an amicus brief urging the New York Court of Appeals to reverse the Fourth Department's ruling and reinstate DeLee's conviction. The Court of Appeals announced in December 2013 that it would reconsider the previous ruling.

Roxanne Green, Lateisha's mother, commented on today's ruling, saying:

"While I would have preferred to put this behind me while Teish’s killer served out his sentence, I nevertheless welcome the chance to see justice served in his retrial. I will never stop fighting for Teish. I hope that the District Attorney’s office will retry this case and swiftly bring it to an end. I am certain that justice will be done for my beloved daughter."

Read more about today's decision from the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF).