First Degree Murder

Philly.com on the murder of Diamond Williams:

Police Detective Paul Guercio testified that in [accused killer Charles Nolan] Sargent’s 18-page statement, he maintained that he killed Williams “in self-defense,” saying Williams misrepresented herself as a woman. After Williams refused to leave until being paid the $40 they agreed on, Sargent said he stabbed Williams to death with a screwdriver during a struggle.

Epic.

Fail.

Sorry, but if that paragraph by Helen Ubinas is an accurate statement of what Sargent is claiming, then even if trans-panic was a legitimate defense, it wasn’t trans-panic.  Clearly, if Williams hadn’t “refused to leave until being paid the $40 they agreed on,” then there wouldn’t have been a problem.

Under Sargent’s (apparent) theory, he’d also have been justified in killing her if Williams had been delivering pizza and, if Sargent read her as trans and then decided not to pay for the pizza, and then after a demand for payment from pizza-deliverer Williams, Sargent killed her.

The only thing missing here is a defense counsel citation to the Hobby Lobby decision.

Sargent had time enough to deliberate…

Sargent had time enough to form intent…

Sargent had time enough to decide not to kill….

It was first-degree murder all the way…

to a needle.

The scumbag shouldn’t even be allowed to present evidence that Williams was a trans woman, much less evidence of trans-panic.

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