By Dawn Cranfield
19-Year-Old Man Claims Victim Asked Him to Kill Her After He Smoked “Spice” Then Strangled Her
Tashawn Cheatham, 19, Phoenix, Arizona, is being held on $1 million bond for first-degree murder, arson and theft in connection with the death of 13-year-old Briana Naylor. Naylor was found unconscious last Thursday morning when a neighbor reported a suspicious house fire around 9:40 a.m.
Cheatham, a homeless teen, had been an overnight guest at the home; however he had been asked to leave first thing in the morning by Naylor’s mother when she left for work that morning. Naylor’s mother and brother were gone when Cheatham reportedly smoked “spice” then claims the young girl asked him to kill her.
The 19-year-old man confessed to police he used a bed sheet to strangle the girl; he pulled one end, and according to Cheatham, Naylor pulled the other, until she stopped moving. Cheatham then went into two different bedrooms and started fires before he left the home.
Cheatham is also being held for theft; he is accused of stealing the family dog and trying to sell it. The dog, Marilyn, has not been recovered, and the family is looking for any information leading to her safe return.
“Anyone with information about Marilyn or about the case is asked to call Phoenix Police Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.” (kctv5.com)
Two things came to my mind immediately when I read this story; one, just because somebody “asks” you to help kill them, would that seriously
be a defense? When I was in high school, there was a girl who had been abused by her mother; everybody knew, she came to school bruised and beaten often. She asked several people to help her kill her mom; most people ignored her requests, brushing it off as teenaged anger against a parent.
Then, one day, she came across a boy, a good friend of mine; he had just the right personality for her request. He saw a damsel in distress, he was enamored with violence, and he did not want to see her hurting. They murdered her mom one night.
However, during the murder trial another boy I used to walk to school with who had been approached to do the deed first was put on the stand. When asked about his role, or lack of, he explained that just because he was asked did not make him compelled to act.
So, this cannot possibly be a defense; if, in fact, anybody were to believe such a flimsy justification for taking another life.
My next thoughts had to do with the plea for the return of the dog; perhaps, and I hope it is true, the article was simply written with a slant towards the dog since it is clearly too late to bring back the daughter. However, I felt mentioning the dog before asking for information about
the crime regarding the child was insensitive; but, that could just be me.
Either way, another senseless tragedy in the wake of a spice high.