Tanaya Lewis, 19, pled no contest to first-degree murder on Wednesday at the Macomb County Circuit Court, in Detroit
Lewis took the plea deal during a pretrial conference under a guarantee she will be eligible for parole later in life
Lewis was 17 when she stabbed 16-year-old Danyna Gibson in the upper chest and back with a steak knife on Sept. 12, 2018 at Warren Fitzgerald High School
The deal was made under a guarantee she will be eligible for parole later in life although
Authorities say Lewis stabbed Gibson over a boy
While premeditation was established prosecutors declined to seek a life sentence without parole because of her young age at the time
Her sentencing is set for September 16
19-year-old Tanaya Lewis, pled no contest to first-degree murder on Wednesday in the stabbing death of her classmate during a school fight in 2018. She was 17 at the time. The victim was 16, both straight A students
A 19-year-old woman has pled no contest to first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a classmate during a fight inside a Detroit-area high school, two years ago.
Tanaya Lewis’ plea Wednesday came during a pretrial conference in Macomb County Circuit Court and was made under a guarantee she will be eligible for parole later in life. Her sentencing is set for September 16.
A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
Lewis was 17 when 16-year-old Danyna Gibson was stabbed in the upper chest and back with a steak knife September 12, 2018 at Warren Fitzgerald High School. Witnesses told police Lewis smiled and laughed as she chased Gibson with the knife.
Authorities have said the fight was over a male student, and that both girls were straight-A students who had no history of trouble.
Defense attorney Mark Brown said the plea deal locks in Lewis’ sentence.
‘It´s in her best interests to do this considering all of the circumstances,’ he said. ‘It´s a horrible situation all the way around and this is a fair resolution.’
Prosecutors declined to seek life without parole because of Lewis´ age and inability to appreciate the long-term consequences of her actions.
‘This was a calculated, thought-out, intentional event, but because she was 17 years old [she] lacked the frontal cortex development to fully recognize the long-term consequences,’ Assistant Macomb Prosecutor William Cataldo explained.
A major finding by investigators is that was a lot of premeditation involved in the slaying. Speaking in September, Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith said: ‘Premeditation is abundant in this case, as simple as the fact that she brought a knife to school.
‘The defendant chased the victim throughout the class while this was going on… This was over something as simple as the victim being friends with a boy.’
Warren police Det. Donald Seidl told a judge that other students reported Lewis smiling and laughing as she pursued Gibson.
A teacher got Lewis out of the room, he said, but the girl tried to get back in, declaring, ‘I’m going to kill her.’