Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

SF couple to be released after pleading to attack on trans woman

A couple accused of attacking a transgender woman are set to be released from jail today (Wednesday, December 23) after pleading guilty to charges in the case.

Dewayne Kemp, 36, and his fiancé, Rebecca Westover, 42, had faced charges including assault and hate crime allegations stemming from the November 15 incident in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.

In court today, Kemp pleaded guilty to assault, and Westover pleaded guilty to battery. Both admitted to hate crime allegations, enhancing both of the crimes to felonies.

Victim Samantha Hulsey (Photo courtesy ABC7)

Victim Samantha Hulsey (Photo courtesy ABC7)

They are expected to be sentenced to three years of probation at their next court date, January 29. Superior Court Judge Brendan Conroy approved their release but warned them that if they didn’t show up for court appearances or committed any new crimes, they could face time in prison.

The preliminary hearing in the case had already gotten underway today when the plea deals were announced.

Samantha Hulsey, the victim in the case, appeared in court this morning, but she left before testifying. She didn’t immediately respond to a phone message after the plea deal was announced.

Deputy Public Defender Kwixuan Maloof, who’s representing Kemp, noted Hulsey’s departure and told Conroy that he didn’t agree with his client’s decision to plead guilty.

Outside the courtroom, Maloof, who was criticized in recent weeks for misgendering Hulsey, said, “This is bullshit. This was a political case.”

He said Mayor Ed Lee and District Attorney George Gascón had commented on the case “before any evidence was presented. Justice was not done today. It’s a shame that someone like this woman would use her status in the LGBT community for her own selfish political motives.”

Attorney Murray Zisholz, who’s representing Westover, said it had been up to her whether to plead to the battery charge, but he agreed with her decision.

“Going to trial is a crapshoot,” Zisholz said.

Kemp and Westover have claimed the trouble started when Hulsey barged past them and called Kemp the N-word. Hulsey has denied pushing past the couple and using the racial slur.

Slurs including the word “faggot” were also used during the attack, which occurred near the Holiday Inn, at 50 Eighth Street.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more on this story in the Wednesday, December 31 edition.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, December 23, 2015 @ 3:49 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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