Tanaya Lewis

Tanaya Lewis is arraigned via video (Photo: Jon Hewett/WWJ)

Warren Teen Accused Of Stabbing Classmate To Death Faces October Trial

June 11, 2019 - 9:04 am
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WARREN (WWJ) - A former student at Fitzgerald High School in Warren will be going to trial in October for the stabbing death of her classmate.

Tanaya Lewis, 18, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the death of 16-year-old Danyna Gibson, who was stabbed at school on September 18, 2018. Trial is set to begin October 22. 

Danyna Gibson
Danyna Gibson (Handout)

Investigators say Lewis, armed with a straight-edge kitchen knife she'd brought from home, initially stabbed Gibson twice in the upper chest, one striking her heart. Witnesses testified that Lewis was smiling and laughing while chasing the victim around a classroom -- stabbing her twice in the back as she tried to flee, and again after she fell to the floor. 

A school resource officer immediately began life-saving procedures, but Gibson died at the hospital about an hour later. Lewis, who was 17 at the time, was arrested and charged as an adult. 

Making the case for first-degree murder, a charge which requires that a killing was planned in advance, Macomb County Prosecutor Bill Cataldo noted that witnesses testified Lewis screamed: "I'm going to kill her... I want to kill her." Mayor Jim Fouts said Lewis even "posted on social media what she planned on doing to her good friend."

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said the girls, both straight-A students, had no history of trouble. He told The Associated Press Lewis was upset and disturbed when a boy broke up with her and started dating Gibson, leading to her attacking her love rival. 

Lewis remains held without bond. She faces possible life in prison without parole if convicted as charged.