Dwanya Hickerson, a former Navy sailor, has been found guilty of the murder of Dee Whigham, a Mississippi transgender woman. Hickerson had stabbed Whigham over 100 times before she died.
According to People, Hickerson also pleaded guilty to robbery after taking Whigham's cell and purse after the murder. Jackson County District Attorney Tony Lawrence has recommended he serve 40 years for the count of second-degree murder and eight for the robbery. He potentially faced the death penalty for the crime.
“I’d like to apologize to the victim’s family. If I could take it back I would," Hickerson said to Whigham's family.
The two were last seen together on a surveillance video at a Best Western in July of 2016. Video shows the two entering, but only Hickerson leaving 23 minutes later. Friends of Whigham's said they did not know Hickerson. Hickerson later admitted he had been chatting with Whigham online for a couple of months, leading to a sexual encounter, but he "lost it" after finding out she was trans.
Hickerson will ultimately have to serve eight of the fifteen years for a robbery charge, and thirty five of the fourty years for the murder charge.
“I think the plea is a slap in the face,” said Vickie Blackney Whigham, the victim's mother. “He gets a chance to see his family and I don’t have that chance with my child.”