A Michigan teenager who fatally stabbed a high school classmate during an argument over a boy was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
Tanaya Lewis, 19, pleaded no contest last month to first-degree premeditated murder in the September 2018 stabbing death of 16-year-old Danyna Gibson.
Gibson was stabbed multiple times in the chest and back by Lewis, who brought a steak knife to Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Lewis chased Gibson around a classroom and stabbed her numerous times in front of horrified students and a teacher.
Lewis, who was then 17, said she still has nightmares about attacking Gibson during a fight over her ex-boyfriend.
“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 will be eligible for parole after 25 years due to credit for time served.
Gibson’s aunt, Christina Ford, read a statement via video on behalf of the victim’s mother. She said there’s “really no words” to explain the pain caused by losing a child to violence.
“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.”
“You took a life that was so beautiful,” the statement continued. “All I ask is that the Lord have mercy on your soul.”
The aunt said she didn’t think the family would be able to forgive Lewis.
“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.”
Gibson, a straight-A student, was studying to be 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*** y’all.”