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Love, Murder

A High School Love Triangle Turns Deadly in Warren, Michigan

“I think there should be a good balance between being a good student and being able to enjoy your high school life,” Vanessa Minnillo advises people who ask her. There is a ton of drama that can be mined from the high school experience, there is a reason why networks chase the golden goose known as the high school soap opera. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Just ask the students and teachers at Fitzgerald High School inn Warren, Michigan. In the case of Tanaya Lewis and Danya Gibson, the love of a boy ruined a friendship and led to the murder of Gibson.

For a while, Gibson and Lewis were friends. Then they started seeing the same boy and things went sour. It is rumored that Lewis even went as far as to put her plans to kill her rival on various social media platforms. Nobody took her seriously.

Though prosecutors are saying that they have plenty of evidence to suggest that this was a premeditated murder. Prosecutor Eric Smith told local press, "Premeditation is abundant in this case; as simple as the fact that she brought a knife to school, That in and of itself is premeditation, but there is a previous dispute, there were things said previous to this...the fact that the defendant chased the victim throughout the class while this was going on." 17-year-old Lewis has been charged as an adult in this case. 

How did it come to be that a 17-year-old girl killed her 16-year-old friend? They were locked in a dispute over a boy. Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer would “only say that the victim and the suspect knew each other and the male student knew both of the suspect and the victim and that may have been one of the reasons why this occurred," of course with an open investigation police cannot legally reveal more. The boy in the center of this deadly triangle is cooperating with the investigators. The classmates of the three were traumatized by the incident. Some are wondering if Lewis is mentally ill. 

The reason why they are wondering that is because Lewis was gleeful as she plunged the knife into her frienemy. After the teacher was able to get the killer out of the classroom, Lewis still let it be known that she would not stop until the life was drained from the other girl. Police Captain Donald Seidel told reporters "The defendant was pushed from the classroom the teacher. The defendant then tried to get around the teacher to get back into the classroom yelling, 'I'm going to kill her.’” Lewis accomplishes her goal. Gibson was pronounced dead at 9:24 AM on September 12, 2018.

The cause of death? A punctured lung. Seidel explained what happened, "The defendant then stabbed, with a hammer fist punch, stabbed to the back, which punctured her lung." Seeing as both Lewis and Gibson were straight A students, it’s not hard to imagine that Lewis knew exactly what she was doing. Even though none of the principal players in this situation had never been in trouble, there had to have been signs, right?

While school officials argue that they had no advance warning that an attack was being planned, investigators are sifting through text messages that the girls exchanged. They are also looking at and for the aforementioned social media posts to see how long this murder had been planned for. 

Two lives at the center of this twisted triangle have been altered forever; the other is no longer among the living. That doesn’t account for the family and friends who will never be the same for having been associated with this case. What would Hollywood do with this story?

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