Jury deadlocks on murder count against former Crenshaw High football star

By Scott Glover and Joel Rubin (LA Times)
November 18, 2009


A once-promising high school football star accused of fatally shooting the mother of a young woman who was expected to testify against him in a robbery case was convicted Tuesday of attempting to intimidate a witness, but the jury deadlocked on the more serious charges against him.

Tyquan Knox, 21, was charged with robbing Khristina Henry and her boyfriend three years ago, then killing Henry’s mother, Pamela Lark, in an effort to dissuade the girl from testifying against him. Knox feared that a conviction in the case would ruin his chances of being recruited to play football in college, the prosecution contended.

The conviction on the attempted intimidation charge was based on a series of text messages and telephone calls to Henry and Lark, primarily by Knox’s mother and friends. His mother contended that Knox was innocent and allegedly asked what she could do to make the case go away. At least one friend of Knox’s suggested that Henry should not testify. During one telephone call, Knox himself got on the phone, according to testimony.

Lark and Henry told police they felt threatened by the contacts and asked authorities for financial help to relocate. They were in the process of looking for a place to live when Lark was killed Jan. 4, 2007.

Jurors had deliberated for five days before announcing that they were hopelessly deadlocked on the robbery and murder counts against Knox. The prosecutor, Deputy Dist. Atty. Danette Meyers, told Judge Michael E. Pastor that her office had already decided to retry Knox on all counts.

Defense attorney John Sweeney said that although he was “disappointed” Knox was not acquitted of the charges, he saw the mistrial as a relative victory. “Any time the prosecution is felled in its attempt to convict a defendant, it is a good day,” he said.

Though it was Knox who was on trial for murder, the case seemed at times to revolve almost entirely around his former girlfriend Keeairra Dashiell.

Dashiell, an honors student at Crenshaw High School who earned an academic scholarship to UC San Diego, had reluctantly entered into a plea deal with prosecutors in which she agreed to testify against Knox in exchange for a seven-year sentence for her role in the slaying.

Dashiell testified that she called Knox to wake him up early on the morning they planned to commit the crime and drove him to the neighborhood where Henry and Lark lived. She said Knox was armed with a gun and dressed all in black when he got out of his car. He returned a couple of hours later, lay back in the passenger’s seat so as not to be seen and told her to drive, she said.

Sweeney, however, sought to portray Dashiell as a lovesick girlfriend so obsessed with Knox that she orchestrated the slaying to protect him and ensure her place in his future.

On the eve of her testimony, Dashiell dealt a heavy blow to the prosecution when she acknowledged for the first time that she had earlier plotted to kill Henry with another man while Knox was out of town and that Knox knew nothing of the plan. Sweeney also argued that phone records entered as evidence in the case did not bear out Dashiell’s claim that she called Knox to wake him the morning of the slaying.

Jurors were so mistrustful of Dashiell’s testimony that they disregarded it altogether, said jury foreman Jules Vallier.

“I thought everything that was coming out of her mouth was garbage,” said Vallier, 43. “We all found our reasoning without her.”

The verdict on the robbery counts was 9 to 3 in favor of guilt. The verdict on the murder was 8 to 4, also in favor of guilt.

Vallier said there were passionate arguments from both sides.

“There was a lot of table pounding. There were voices raised quite extensively,” he said. Vallier said those who voted not guilty questioned the validity of witness identifications made by Henry and her friends, who testified that they did not know Knox, despite one of them testifying that they were all at the same party sometime before the robbery.

Henry questioned how the jurors could find Knox guilty on the charge of attempted witness intimidation but not reach a decision on the more serious robbery and murder charges.

“Why else would he need to intimidate us?” she said.

Henry said the prospect of again testifying against Knox was daunting. “I was prepared for all this to be over, to get on with my life.

“I’ll come back a third and a fourth time if I need to,” she said. “I won’t rest until my mama is rested in peace and, for me, that means seeing [Knox] convicted.”

Posted by on Nov 18 2009. Filed under Legal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Comments for “Jury deadlocks on murder count against former Crenshaw High football star”



  2. GYGC

    West up cuz? Where u from? U from Playboys or Graveyard? I know u can’t be from the Sholines. LMAO!!!

  3. DJ


  4. DJ


Leave a Reply

Log in |
  • Prison Gangs
  • Other Cities
  • Los Angeles Police Gang Enforcement Initiaitives – 2007
  • SG Music
  • Crips
  • Bloods
  • Asian Gangs
  • Forums
  • Shop
  • Injunctions
  • contact
  • Resources