Joshua Brandon Vallum, 29, of Lucedale, Mississippi, pleaded guilty to murdering Mercedes Williamson after finding out the “WOMAN” was sporting a penis!
Joshua Brandon Vallum, 29, of Lucedale, Mississippi, pleaded guilty today to a federal hate crime for assaulting and murdering Mercedes Williamson because she was a transgender woman. Williamson was 17 years old and resided in Alabama at the time of her death. Vallum was charged with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea:
In the late spring or early summer of 2014, Vallum, a member of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Almighty Latin Kings and Queens Nation, began a consensual sexual relationship with Williamson. Vallum knew at the time that Williamson, who identified and presented as female, was transgender.
During his romantic relationship with Williamson, Vallum kept the sexual nature of the relationship, as well as Williamson’s transgender status, secret from his family, friends and other members of the Latin Kings.
Around August or September 2014, Vallum terminated his romantic and sexual relationship with Williamson and had no contact with her until May 2015. On May 28, 2015, Vallum decided to kill Williamson after learning that a friend had discovered Williamson was transgender. Vallum believed he would be in danger if other Latin Kings members discovered that he had engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with a transgender woman.
On May 29, 2015, Vallum went to Alabama to find Williamson, planning to take Williamson to Mississippi and kill her there. After locating Williamson at her residence, he used false pretenses to lure Williamson into his car so he could drive her to Mississippi.
Vallum drove Williamson to his father’s residence in Lucedale, Mississippi, where he parked his vehicle behind the house. As Williamson sat in the vehicle’s passenger seat, he assaulted her. After using a stun gun to electrically shock Williamson in the chest, Vallum repeatedly stabbed Williamson with a 75th Ranger Regiment pocket knife.
As Vallum stabbed Williamson, Williamson fled from the vehicle. He chased Williamson and stabbed her again multiple times. Vallum delivered what he believed to be a fatal stab to Williamson’s head, as he thought he “hit brain” with a blow from the pocket knife. Williamson briefly got back up but again fell to the ground.
Vallum went back to his vehicle to attend to a cut on his thumb that he inadvertently inflicted with his own knife during the attack. At that time, Williamson got up again and stumbled farther into the woods.
Vallum retrieved a hammer from the trunk of his vehicle and chased after Williamson. He caught up with Williamson and hit her on the back of the head with the hammer. Williamson fell to the ground and Vallum used the hammer to hit her in the head several more times until Williamson died.