Danyna Gibson Murder: Where is Tanaya Lewis Now?

Danyna Gibson, a 16-year-old student, went to school on September 12, 2018. However, just a short while later, her family received the shocking news that she’d been stabbed, shattering their sense of security in what should have been a safe environment. Despite being rushed to the hospital, efforts to save her sadly proved futile, and she succumbed to her injuries within a few hours. In Investigation Discovery’s ‘Mean Girl Murders’ episode ‘Straight A Killer,’ the details of this case are closely examined, and the circumstances under which she was killed are also shown.

Danyna Gibson was Killed in School

Angelina Ford and Preston Gibson welcomed their daughter, Danyna Unique Gibson, into the world on November 20, 2001. Described by her parents as sensitive and responsible, she had a knack for brightening the day of those around her. According to reports, she was highly engaged in her school community by participating in various activities such as the cross-country team, color band, marching band, and the National Honor Society. Additionally, she demonstrated a keen interest in science and had already planned to study computer engineering in college.

Image Credit: Angel of Mine Valencia Asia/Find A Grave

At Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Michigan, Gibson was a beloved student of the teachers and was quite popular among her peers too. She consistently achieved straight-A grades throughout most of her school years. But alas, on September 12, 2018, the fifth full day of her sophomore year, authorities responded to a call from the establishment around 8:30 a.m., reporting a violent incident. Upon arrival, they discovered the school resource officer administering aid to Gibson, who had been stabbed four times — twice in the chest and twice in the back. Despite immediate medical attention and efforts to resuscitate her, her injuries, including a punctured lung, proved fatal. She passed away at the hospital just one hour later.

Danyna Gibson’s Killer Attacked in Front of Many Witnesses

Almost immediately upon their arrival at the school, authorities were able to positively identify Tanaya Lewis as the assailant. A fellow 17-year-old student who shared classes with Danyna, she was once close to her. Both students were actively involved in the National Honor Society and boasted impressive academic records, with Lewis also earning straight A grades across her subjects. However, the events of that day forever altered the trajectory of their relationship and the lives of all involved.

Approximately 20-30 students and a teacher were present to witness the harrowing event. According to their testimonies, at around 8:30 a.m. during an economics class, Lewis swiftly approached Gibson from behind, brandishing a knife, and chased her around the classroom. The school concluded that she had brought the weapon from home, as they lacked metal detectors. One witness recalled the chaotic scene, initially mistaking the disturbance for an insect intrusion. However, upon turning, they were confronted with the sight of Lewis repeatedly stabbing Gibson.

Several other witnesses also attested that Tanaya Lewis was laughing during the chase and the subsequent assault. When the teacher intervened and removed her from the classroom, she reportedly continued to threaten Danyna, stating repeatedly that she intended to kill her. During police questioning, she claimed that she and the latter had recently quarreled over a boy whom she had previously dated.

According to Lewis, the boy had begun speaking to Gibson after their breakup. She accused her schoolmate of falsely claiming that she’d been unfaithful, which actually led to the split, and felt that the latter was trying to steal him away from her. She admitted to using a steak knife that she had brought from home in the attack. Following her confession, she was promptly arrested and detained without bond. According to Michigan state law, individuals over 17 are considered adults. Thus, Lewis was at risk of receiving a life sentence for first-degree murder.

Tanaya Lewis is in Prison Today

In August 2020, Tanaya entered a plea of no contest to the charge of first-degree murder. By this time, the prosecutors had abandoned their pursuit of a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The officials argued that her frontal cortex had not fully developed, suggesting that while her actions were violently intentional, her brain couldn’t grasp the long-term consequences of them. So, in September 2020, she received the sentence of 27 to 60 years in prison, with credit for 735 days already served in county jail. She was also ordered to have no contact with Danyna Gibson’s family.

During her sentencing hearing, Lewis expressed remorse and apologized to Gibson’s family, acknowledging that if she could undo the stabbing in any way, she would. She hoped they would find it in their hearts to forgive her one day. Now 23 years old, she is incarcerated at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Her earliest projected release date is currently set for September 11, 2045, whereas her maximum sentence end date is September 11, 2078.

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