Sailor pleads not guilty in transgender woman's death
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Navy sailor accused of stabbing a woman more than 100 times inside a St. Martin hotel room pleaded not guilty Thursday to capital murder. Dwanya Hickerson had his arraignment a short time ago in a Jackson County courtroom.
Hickerson is the man who reportedly killed Dee Whigham. The 25-year-old Whigham was a Hattiesburg nurse who came to the coast July 23 to visit friends. According to investigators, Whigham's friends, who were sharing the hotel room with her, found her dead and cut up and called authorities. The shower, authorities have said, was still running and had blood in it.
Autopsy results indicate Whigham suffered 119 stab wounds. Investigators said many of the stab wounds were to her face, and her throat was slashed three times.
Those investigators also said surveillance video from July 23 taken at the Best Western Hotel just north of I-10 shows Hickerson, 20, and Whigham walking into a hotel room together around 8:30 p.m. About 23 minutes later, Hickerson was reportedly seen leaving the room alone with his shirt hanging across his neck. The investigation indicated Hickerson took a shower in the room and left the water running.
Hickerson was in a training class at Keesler Air Force at the time of the murder. Because he's charged with capital murder, Hickerson could receive the death penalty if he's convicted by a jury.
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