A 19-year-old woman was convicted Friday in the killing of a pregnant woman, man and unborn child at the Sycamore Lake Apartments.
The defendant, Shelby Isaac, collapsed after Judge James Lammey read the first guilty count of second-degree murder. The jury convicted Isaac of a second count of second-degree murder as well as a count of criminally negligent homicide and reckless homicide.
She cried “mommy” and had to be taken away from the courtroom as her family wept. Her screams echoed from another room as jurors covered their faces.
judge James Lamney rules on an objection during opeing arguements during a murder trial for Shelby Isaac Tuesday morning. Issac is accused of killing a pregnant woman and a man in January 2016 reportedly during a hair weave robbery.
JIM WEBER/THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL
Eddie Tate II and Edwina Thomas were shot Jan. 22, 2016, in the 2100 block of Westchester Circle and Isaac was charged with first-degree murder. She was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder of Tate, reckless homicide of Thomas and criminally negligent homicide of the unborn baby. The second-degree murder counts would merge at sentencing.
Tate’s mother, Gloria Tate, who attended the trial, said Tate was her only child, and she visits his grave every week.
“We had a bond that was inseparable … As we go along, I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again because there’s a void in my life that can’t be filled,” Gloria Tate said. “When your heart is broken there’s nothing that anybody can say or do about it.”
outside the courtroom during a break in the trial of 19-year-old Shelby Isaac on murder charges, Gloria Tate speaks about the pain of losing her son, Eddie Tate.
KATIE FRETLAND/THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL
Prosecutors argued that Tate, Thomas and Thomas’ unborn baby were killed after Isaac decided she wanted her money back from a purchase of hair weaves. Isaac had met with Tate to buy 0 in bundles of hair weaves and later called him back to set up another meeting under the guise of buying more, prosecutors said.
“She lured that man to his death,” Assistant District Attorney Glen Baity told the jury.
After Tate pulled up to the apartments with his pregnant girlfriend, Isaac opened fire on the car, argued Assistant District Attorney Gavin Smith. A witness, Gary Dotson, said he later saw her with a wad of cash and blood on her clothes.
Smith told the jury the case was about Tate, who was someone’s son, cousin and father, and Thomas, who was someone’s sister, daughter and an unborn baby’s mother.
“It’s about that unborn baby,” Smith said. “It’s about how (Isaac) took their lives.”
Defense attorney Lauren Fuchs argued the trial is about who is responsible, and that there was no physical evidence tying Isaac to the crime. The only person placing her at the scene was her codefendant, Victoria Seay, Fuchs said. Isaac lived at the Sycamore Lake Apartments, but no neighbors identified her as being at the crime scene. she drove Isaac to the apartments and saw Isaac get out of a car and approach Tate’s vehicle. Seay said she then saw Isaac with a black gun and fled when she heard the first gunshot. She said she later returned to pick up Isaac and that Isaac confessed to her.
Fuchs pointed to inconsistencies in Seay’s previous testimony at a preliminary hearing, and how Seay said she lied under oath then. Seay said she had also told police for several hours that she didn’t know what happened.
“Can you believe her?” Fuchs asked. “After all the inconsistencies that she has admitted to? Lying to her mother, lying to the police, lying to judges, lying to attorneys, lying to friends … Can you believe her?”
Fuchs said Isaac had no past criminal record.
Part of the state’s evidence was a fingerprint belonging to Isaac found on a receipt inside Tate’s car. Her lawyers argued the fingerprint got there when she was previously in Tate’s car buying weaves