There are finally some new developments in the 2013 murder case of Diamond Williams, the transgender woman who was brutally dismembered in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia last July. Today, accused killer Charles Sargent was ruled competent to stand trial for the murder.
Elicia Gonzales was there with GALAEI's Transgender-health Information Project (TIP) and a team from Mazzoni Center. She says Municipal Court Judge Marsha H. Neifield asked Sargent a series of questions to determine his competency. Prior to today's court date, Sargent had refused to complete a psych exam, says Gonzales, but today "he seemed to understand completely what was being asked of him," and the judge ruled that the trial would move forward. "It's good news," Gonzales says, "One small step toward justice."
Sargent allegedly used a screwdriver and a hatchet to kill Williams after he discovered she was transgender. He dumped her remains in a vacant lot in Strawberry Mansion; Sargent's then girlfriend tipped the police over the crime.
Sargent will reappear in court next Wednesday for a status trial, where the judge will set a trial date. Stay tuned to G Philly for more details.
Additional reporting by Josh Middleton.