Tanaya Lewis Fitzgerald high school student who fatally stabbed classmate Danyna Gibson during class over love interest sentenced 27 years jail.
A Michigan woman who fatally stabbed her then high school rival over a dispute involving her ex-boyfriend has been sentenced to 27 years in prison.
Tanaya Lewis, 19, pleaded no contest last month to first-degree premeditated murder in the September 2018 death of her 16-year-old classmate, Danyna Gibson, whom investigators said was stabbed with a steak knife inside a classroom at Fitzgerald High School in Warren, the Detroit Free Press reports.
‘If could take it back, I would,’ Lewis said during Wednesday’s hearing. ‘I accept the punishment … and I know no amount of apologies will take it back … and I’m so, so sorry. I just hope one day, you’ll be [able to] forgive me.’
Lewis, who was then 17, said she still has nightmares about attacking Gibson – a straight-A student — with a kitchen knife that she brought to school. District court testimony indicated Lewis chasing Gibson in the classroom, stabbing her numerous times, in the presence of other students and a teacher. The girl was stabbed in the chest and back.
Lewis, who will be eligible for parole after 25 years due to credit for time served, could have received a maximum sentence of 40 to 60 years if a plea deal hadn’t been reached between her attorney and a judge. If she had been convicted as an adult, she would have received life without parole, the Macomb Daily reports.
Victim’s family unable to make sense of or forgive Lewis
Danyna’s aunt, Christina Ford, read a statement via video on behalf of the teen’s mother, who said there’s ‘really no words’ to explain the pain caused by losing a child, especially in such a violent way.
‘I mourn the loss of my baby every day,’ the statement read. ‘Times does not heal. It is more of a punishment because the more time that passes the more I realize I will never see my baby again.’
Gibson’s family is unable to make sense of or forgive Lewis for the slaying, Ford said.
‘You took a life that was so beautiful,’ her statement on behalf of Gibson’s family continued. ‘All I ask is that the Lord have mercy on your soul.’
Told the aunt via Fox2Detroit: ‘She gets a chance to get out and have whatever life she has left. Yeah, it’s going to be hard for her to get a job because she’s a felon. So what? She still gets to see her people. She still gets to have kids, she still gets to get married, she still gets to do all that. My niece doesn’t.’
Danyna wanted to become a computer engineer and was already learning how to build robots, her father said.
‘I feel like I was robbed by the system,’ Preston Gibson said. ‘I feel like I was robbed by her mother and I feel like I was robbed by a teenager. Although my baby’s not here, I’m still paying child support, my baby’s dead and I don’t get no justice for it. This is how I feel. Everybody who played a part in her death … f— you all.’