Crime Trio drove to McDonald’s, ordered smoothies after beating teen with metal pole and dumping her in creek: testimony
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Three 16-year-old girls accused of killing another teenager in Alabama this summer savagely beat the victim with a metal pole, dumped her in a creek and then casually drove to a nearby McDonald’s where they had smoothies for breakfast, a police detective testified this week.
The early-morning restaurant stop happened just moments after Lesley Luna Pantaleon, 17, was beaten, stabbed and dumped into a creek following an apparent dispute over a gun on June 24, Detective Ashley Brown told a court during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, according to the.
The victim’s body was found in the water near Montgomery’s airport about 10 days later, but she sustained so many fractures that the exact cause of her death has never been determined.
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The three suspects — Ta’Niya Merriweather, Erin Taylor and Tyeshia Whisenant — were each charged with capital murder and are being prosecuted as adults.
Lesley Luna Pantaleon, pictured, was beaten, stabbed and dumped into a creek on June 24, in Alabama.
The alleged killers have denied or minimized their involvement in the assault while contradicting each other’s testimonies. The trio, however, agrees that the dispute began with a missing gun, the Advertiser reported.
Brown told the court that Pantaleon allegedly “put out a hit” on the address where Whisenant lived after learning someone at that home may have taken her weapon. When Pantaleon went to the home to get her gun back, she and Whisenant got into a fight, the detective reportedly said.
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Whisenant, her two co-defendants and an unidentified boy then got into Pantaleon’s Chevrolet Trailblazer with the victim and drove away, according to police. Taylor, who was driving the car, eventually stopped in a wooded area where the group launched their brutal attack on the victim, Brown said.
It’s still unclear if the boy has been charged in the case as juvenile records are sealed from the public.
Whisenant allegedly told the group that Pantaleon, whose feet were still moving, “needed to be taken care of,” so they put her back in the car and threw her in the river, where the victim appeared to be trying to swim before dying, according to Brown’s testimony.
The attackers then drove the Trailblazer to McDonald’s at 6 a.m. and abandoned the car at a church moments later, authorities said.
The three girls are being held without bail.
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