Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime
A Lucedale man pleads guilty to a federal hate crime for assaulting and murdering Mercedes Williamson because she was a transgender woman.
Joshua Vallum originally pled guilty to her murder back in July after admitting he beat her to death back in 2015. Testimony showed Vallum falsely claimed to law enforcement that he killed Williamson in a panic after discovering she was transgender.
In pleading guilty today, Vallum acknowledged that he had previously lied about the circumstances surrounding Williamson’s death and that he would not have killed her if she was not transgender.