For many people, a criminal record can be a dealbreaker in a potential mate. While being convicted of a crime doesn’t necessarily mean you’d make a bad partner, it certainly doesn’t count as a plus.
But if you yourself have spent some time behind bars, you would probably be more likely to brush it off if you found out your significant other had too. But there are crimes and then there are crimes. When one woman found out what her boyfriend had been up to, she had to say something…
Shakeisha was a sweet little girl living with her extended family in Fort Worth, Texas. She was from the historic Stop Six neighborhood, so named because it was once the sixth stop on the Northern Texas Traction Company, a trolley line that ran between Fort Worth and Dallas.
By the 1980s, Stop Six had become a blue collar, inner city community. Like so many blue collar communities ravaged by opiods today, Stop Six in the 80s and 90’s was ravaged by rampant crack cocaine and the predatory gangs that came along with it…
Though she was just a kid, Shakeisha’s life was already significantly impacted by drugs. Her mother Pamela was struggling with a crack addiction that made her less than an ideal parent. She had even spent some time in prison after she took part in a robbery to support her habit.
But by the late ‘80s, Pamela was out of prison and trying her best to be a good mother to Shakeisha and her 2 other children despite her addiction. Pamela’s kids had been living with her mother, her uncle Dempsey, and 2 elderly great aunts 83-year-old Zenobia and the blind and mostly deaf 67-year-old Carolina, who everyone called “Caola,” and when she got out of prison, Pamela moved in with them…
Shortly after she got out in 1990, Pamela started dating a man named Edward Lagrone. Lagrone supposedly worked as a cook but everyone in the neighborhood knew him as the local drug dealer. It was likely because he was supplying Pamela with the drugs she wanted that she overlooked some characteristics that would disqualify him as a boyfriend for most people.
Aside from the fact that he was a drug dealer, Lagrone had just gotten out of prison. Sure, Pamela was on parole too but Lagrone had just gotten out after being locked up for over a decade for having murdered someone…
He’s A Killer
Toward the end of 1976, Lagrone was convicted of shooting a man named Michael Jones during a dispute they’d had. Everyone knew that Lagrone was a dangerous man and her family warned her against seeing him.
But Pamela ignored their warnings. There were 3 things in Lagrone’s favor, as far as she was concerned: He had always been nice to her, he got her all the drugs she wanted, and he was great with her kids. In fact, he lavished her children with gifts and attention, as he did with the children of a number of his regular customers…
Pamela and Lagrone only dated each other for about 6 months before they broke up amicably, so amicably that over the next few months, Lagrone still came by the house to spend time with the family and visit Pamela’s kids. Of the 3 kids, He took a special interest in Pamela’s 10-year-old Shakeisha Lloyd.
Over that same time period, Pamela started noticing changes in her daughter. Shakeisha had started to put on weight and her breasts were growing. Then, after a bath one night, Shakeisha said “Mommy, something is moving around inside of me” to her mother…
Pamela took her daughter to the hospital for an examination, where she learned that her 10-year-old daughter was 17 weeks pregnant. In a heavily emotional exchange, Shakeisha told her mother that Lagrone had been sexually abusing her for the past few years. Shakeisha apologetically explained that she hadn’t said anything because Lagrone said he’d kill her if he told.
Pamela did the right thing and reported Lagrone to the police so justice could be done. But she also made the poor choice of calling Lagrone and confronting him herself. He at first denied “messing with” Shakeisha and hung up the phone, only to later call back and apologize. He said he would “do the right thing” and take care of the baby but Pamela said she was pressing charges…
The next day, Pamela got in contact with Lagrone again, demanding that he pay to terminate Shakeisha’s pregnancy, which would cost $895. Lagrone offered to do her one better: he would give her $1,000 for the abortion plus another $500 on one condition. All she had to do was withdraw her complaint with the police.
But Pamela wasn’t interested in making any kind of deal with Lagrone. She wanted justice for Shakeisha and she wanted to put the man who had hurt her daughter and betrayed her trust behind bars where he belonged…
Although Pamela had already alerted the police to what Lagrone had done, they had yet to arrest him. Despite the fact that he was a convicted murderer accused of a terrible crime, hadn’t gotten around to him because of a “heavy caseload.” Lagrone used the time he still had out on the street to devastating effect.
The next day, at 4 in the morning, just one day after Shakeisha finished 4th grade, Pamela was startled by a loud banging at the door and a loud voice demanding to be let in. Before she could stop him, Dempsey opened the door and standing in front of him was Lagrone armed with a shotgun…
In Cold Blood
What started then was a shooting spree. Lagrone blasted Dempsey in the chest then started going room to room, shooting Pamela’s family members. He found Caola in her bed, then found Zenobia in the kitchen, killing them with one shot each. He next came across Shakeisha who yelled out “Run, Mama!”
The 10-year-old threw up her hands defensively and Lagrone shot right through them, ripping her hands apart and striking her in the face. He put the shotgun to her head as she lay on the ground and made sure the job was done with a second shot. At that point, the other people in the house had fled so Lagrone fired another shot into Dempsey as he stepped over his body to leave through the front door…
Open And Shut
Incredibly, Dempsey survived the attack and along with Pamela and the other survivors, was able to identify Lagrone. DNA testing of Shakeisha’s baby also proved that he was the father, making the trial for the murders and sexual abuse all but a formality.
See You In Hell
After the trial, it only took the jury 25 minutes to come back with a guilty verdict and a recommendation to the judge for Lagrone’s sentence: the death penalty. Though the justice system had delivered its harshest penalty, it could never right the wrongs done to Shakeisha, nor could it undo the damage done to her family and community by the scourge of drugs.