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Josh Vallum sentenced to prison for anti-transgender hate crime

Josh Vallum sentenced to prison for anti-transgender hate crime
Posted at 4:57 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 16:57:00-04

GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Josh Vallum was sentenced to 49 years in prison Monday for a federal hate crime in the killing of Mercedes Williamson.

Vallum’s case is the first federal hate crime tried in the country involving a transgender victim. He admitted to killing the 17-year-old in 2015, the same day her body was found in a wooded area of the Rocky Creek community.

Vallum has already been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to state charges.

Gang member sentenced to life for killing transgender teen

According to prosecutors, Vallum stabbed Williamson several times and delivered the fatal blow with a hammer. The two reportedly had a sexual relationship, which violated the bylaws of Vallum’s gang, the Latin Kings. District Attorney Tony Lawrence said that’s what led to the killing.

WLOX News Now reporter Caray Grace was in the courtroom this afternoon. She will have more on the story tonight on-air and online.

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