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Charleston man charged with killing trans woman arrested on attempted murder charge

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North Charleston police. File/Staff

Free on bail while awaiting trial for a killing that shook the area's LGBTQ community, a Charleston man was arrested Monday on an attempted murder charge.

North Charleston police charged Dominick Marquis Archield, 35, with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Archield waived a bond hearing Tuesday morning.

According to court records, a 49-year-old man was walking into his home on Cosmopolitan Street when he was shot twice. He was taken to the hospital shortly after 1 a.m. Nov. 1.

Archield was arrested in August last year, a few weeks after North Charleston police said he fired multiple shots at 29-year-old Denali Berries Stuckey "without any warning or provocation" near a nightclub before hopping in his car and fleeing the scene, an affidavit said.

Stuckey was found shot to death July 20, 2019, on a roadside near Carner Avenue.

Archield posted bail and was freed until the murder trial but returned to the Charleston County jail Monday.

North Charleston police said Archield's latest victim isn't a member of the LGBTQ community. The department is still investigating the newest case, and didn't outline any motive or relationship between Archield and the victim in the incident report.

Investigators haven't said whether they believe Archield targeted this victim or Stuckey.

Unlike most states, South Carolina doesn't have a hate crime law to push harsher penalties against attackers who target marginalized communities.

Black transgender women are disproportionately likely to be slain, and make up the majority of the 27 transgender victims that the Human Rights Campaign documented in 2019

In the wake of Stuckey's slaying — one of four slayings of transgender women of color in the Palmetto State within 12 months — activists called for more protections.

South Carolina, Wyoming and Arkansas are the only states without hate crime statutes. A bill to change that was making its way through the 2020 legislative session, but the coronavirus pandemic stalled its momentum.

S.C. Rep Wendell Gilliard has been trying to pass a hate crime bill since nine worshippers at Emanuel AME Church were killed by a white supremacist in 2015, with the latest one calling for a 15-year prison term.

The city of Charleston and 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson have advocated for a statewide law to strengthen local ordinances like the ones in Charleston and Greenville.

"When it comes to hate crimes, they're message crimes," said Chase Glenn, executive director of the Alliance For Full Acceptance. "It leaves the community feeling pretty uncertain and unsafe."

While police said that the attempted murder didn't target anyone in the LGBTQ community, Glenn worried that the violence could reopen wounds for those who mourned Stuckey and worry for their own safety.

Though it's been over a year since the Palmetto State documented a homicide of a transgender victim, the HRC noted that violence against the community has risen in 2020 across the country.

Glenn noted that local police have worked to communicate more with the community since Stuckey's killing but that transgender South Carolinians are still vulnerable to hate and violence.

"There's a lot of trauma in the community," Glenn said. 

Reach Sara Coello at 843-937-5705 and follow her on Twitter @smlcoello.

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