Will This Murder Be The First Federal Hate Crime With A Trans Victim?

The day Josh Vallum killed Mercedes Williamson, he first saw her from the front porch of a friend’s house near Theodore, Alabama. She was walking down Dauphin Island Parkway in blue jean shorts, a pink tube top and pink flip-flops, her long, dirty-blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail.

Vallum wasn’t sure it was Williamson, he told me in a jailhouse interview in late July, so he asked his friend, a fellow Latin Kings gang member.

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