Teen charged in deadly stabbing of girl at Warren Fitzgerald High School appears in court

Posted at 8:54 AM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 18:04:51-05

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — It was an emotional day in a Warren courtroom as the 17-year accused of stabbing her classmate to death appeared before a judge for a preliminary hearing. The stabbing happened at Fitzgerald high school in Warren on September 12, 2018.

Court adjourned around noon until March, when the judge will hear testimony from the officer who took the statement from 17-year-old Tanaya Lewis, accused of killing her classmate.

On Friday fellow students and her teacher took the stand. Lewis sat expressionless as her classmates and teacher relived the horror of September 12th.

It was a day teacher Sara Sonnenfeld said started off like any other.

"I stand at the door, I greet student, I shake their hands as they come in," says Sonnenfeld.

Lewis and 16-year-old Danyna Gibson were both in her 2nd period class. During a transition into a group project, Sonnenfeld testified she suddenly saw Danyna run across the room.

"I see Tanaya continuing to run after her. Smiling," says Sonnefeld emotionally.

That's when she says she saw an object in Tanaya's hand that looked like scissors or a knife. Sonnefeld says she grabbed the teen from the back and pushed her out of the classroom into the hallway, struggling to keep Tanaya out of the classroom.

“Is she saying anything at this time?" asked the prosecuting attorney.

"She told Evan, she told Evan, I hope she dies, I hope she dies," Sonnefeld responded.

Gibson died from 2 stab wounds. Prosecutors say she and Lewis liked the same boy, a boy named Evan.

In court today his face wasn’t shown but the teen testified that Tanaya texted him just before the stabbing. Then she called him about 20 minutes after she allegedly killed Dayana.

Evan testified that he asked her why she did it and Tanaya just said 'I'm sorry.

The Dean of Discipline testified that he didn’t know Tenaya Lewis well, because she had never received formal disciplinary action for any reason while attending the school.

He also said the entire staff had just received special training 2 weeks prior to this attack, that prepared them for a day they hoped wouldn't come.