Unpaid $20 baby-sitting fee sparked brawl, fatal stabbing

Unpaid $20 baby-sitting fee sparked brawl, fatal stabbing

December 21st, 2011 by Beth Burger in News

Chattanooga Police Department officers work the scene of a fight that broke out Monday night in the College Hill Courts near Poplar St., leaving 15-year-old Shaviya Vinson dead of a stab wound to the chest. Anissa Wells, 17-year-old sister of the victim, and Renee Cross, age 23, were also injured in the attack when they say a group of about 10 females rushed the three of them as they were walking along the street.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Anissa Wells holds her head in her hand as she sits on the curb along Poplar St. in the College Hill Courts Monday night as Chattanooga Police Department officers work the scene of a fight that broke out, leaving 15-year-old Shaviya Vinson dead of a stab wound to the chest. Wells, the sister of the victim, and Renee Cross, age 23, were also injured in the attack when they say a group of about 10 females rushed the three of them as they were walking along the street.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Shaviya Vinson never will get the chance to open Christmas gifts four days from now.

The freshman student at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy never will graduate from high school.

She'll never get a shot at her dream of becoming a gospel singer.

Shaviya, 15, was a bystander Monday when about 10 people rushed 23-year-old Renee Cross over an unpaid baby-sitting fee of $20, according to witness accounts.

The teenager was fatally stabbed in the heart with a pair of purple-handled scissors, which later were found bloodied on the ground with other objects, including a stick and metal rack used in the attack, police said.

"My sister's gone over $20 dollars and she didn't have anything to do with it," said Anissa Wells, 17, Vinson's older sister. "My sister was my everything."

Chattanooga Police Department investigators have arrested 24-year-old Temekia Deshon Reed on charges of criminal homicide, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. Cross was an acquaintance of Vinson and Wells. On Monday night, Cross said she didn't know what led to the attack.

The fight began after a dispute. Reed's mother, Natalia, said she did not receive payment from Cross for baby-sitting services.

"The fight began with some older females and, at some point in the continuation of the fight, [Shaviya] jumped in to assist a family member and was subsequently stabbed," said Sgt. Jerri Weary, spokeswoman for the police department.

Temekia Reed, along with her mother, and three other sisters were involved in the fight, which involved an estimated 20 women, according to the arrest report. Reed is the only person who has been charged in the fight.

She turned herself in to police Tuesday morning, and her bond was set at $1.75 million. Her next court date is set for Dec. 28 before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge David Bales.

Reed was arrested in March on two counts of harassment after she reportedly threatened to harm two women. The case is still pending.

Girl fights are nothing to new to police, but it's only in recent years that they have gained notoriety as more people capture the brawls on cellphones and upload the footage to sites such as YouTube.

A woman recorded cellphone video of the fight Monday night and turned it over to police when they arrived.

Wells said the family won't be the same this year at Christmas. She already purchased an orange Hollister outfit for Shaviya as well as a silver chain with a heart pendant. She'll now wear the heart and think of her younger sister.

"She always had a smile on face. She was always joking," Wells said, who has bruising to her left eye and a small abrasion to her face after the brawl.

Wells was with Shaviya when the fight broke out as they were walking along Poplar Street to their aunt's home to pick up Shaviya's cellphone. Wells had her sister's blood on her clothes and was in shock Monday night, sitting on the curb shortly after the fight

It was only a couple of years ago at Christmas that Shaviya would sneak downstairs to open gifts before other family members.

"She just couldn't wait," Wells said, laughing lightly.

Shaviya was one of two homicide cases worked by Chattanooga police Monday night, bringing the total number of deaths to 25 this year in the city.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406.