Sailor pleads not guilty in transgender woman's death

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2016 6:09 PM

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — A Navy sailor from New Orleans has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of stabbing and slashing a transgender woman 119 times in a coastal Mississippi hotel room.

Twenty-year-old Dwanya Porche Hickerson is charged with the capital murder of 25-year-old Dee Whigham of Shubuta, a nurse at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg. He's being held without bond.

The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/2h5tAl6 ) and WLOX-TV (http://bit.ly/2gGknif ) report that Hickerson entered the plea Thursday in state court in Pascagoula. He was in a training class at Keesler Air Force Base when Whigham was killed July 23 in St. Martin.

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Whigham was visiting with friends, who found her body in their hotel room shower.

Investigators identified Hickerson as a suspect after releasing surveillance video of a man leaving the room with his shirt around his neck.