A Baltimore jury could not decide Friday whether Lakeyria Doughty, also known as the “Wheelie Queen,” was guilty of murder in the fatal stabbing of her girlfriend a few hours into New Year’s Day 2021.
Circuit Judge Gregory Sampson declared a mistrial in the case, meaning prosecutors can choose to retry Doughty or drop the charges. Negotiations for a plea deal also may resume.
Jurors deliberated for a total of about nine hours over Thursday and Friday after three days of trial.
Nobody disputed what caused Tiffany Wilson’s death, only who was responsible.
The prosecutor told jurors it was a premeditated murder carried out by Doughty, who earned her nickname as a pioneer in Baltimore’s male-dominated 12 O’Clock Boys dirt bike crew, which led to her being featured in the HBO movie “Charm City Kings.”
Doughty and her defense attorney offered an alternative theory, arguing that Wilson accidentally stabbed herself during an altercation arising from a disagreement about the couple’s relationship.
“Four of us felt firmly the state did not provide the evidence to support the charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and the weapons charge beyond a reasonable doubt,” one juror said after the mistrial.
That juror was one of two who spoke to The Baltimore Sun about deliberations but asked not to be named because safety concerns. They said the entire panel dismissed premeditation, and that the eight jurors in favor of convicting were considering second-degree murder and the weapons offense.
“There was also evidence that it was possible that, during the course of whatever was going on, the victim could’ve fallen on the knife she was holding,” one of the two jurors said. “That seems like it was among the possibilities.”
The deadly encounter around 4 a.m. Jan. 1, 2021, followed a flurry of text messages between the couple over the preceding days and hours, revealing a tenuous relationship and messy New Year’s Eve.
Doughty promised to accompany Wilson at her mother’s holiday party, but chose to ring in the new year at an ex-girlfriend’s celebration. Wilson repeatedly asked Doughty that night to return her copy of the keys to their apartment, but wouldn’t meet with Doughty to get them. In the same exchange, when both agreed to end things, they exchanged messages that said “love you.”
After waiting for about an hour outside Wilson’s mother’s home to return the keys, Doughty went to their apartment. She double-parked outside with her hazard lights on. Inside, she packed two black trash bags with clothes and shoes. She paused before a flight of stairs leading outside.
Doughty, who took the stand in her own defense, is the only one who lives to say what transpired next.
She testified Wilson grabbed her from behind, and slashed her left leg with a kitchen knife. She said Wilson yanked her by the shirt with her left hand, wielding a knife with the right, and dragged her into the kitchen. Near the sink, Doughty said she ripped herself from Wilson’s grasp, sending Doughty onto her back on the ground and Wilson stumbling into the counter, knife in hand. When Wilson rolled on the counter, blood squirted from her side, Doughty said.
Assistant State’s Attorney Shaundria Hanna implored jurors not to believe Doughty, highlighting her repeated lies about what happened that morning.
Zy Richardson, a spokeswoman for the office of the Baltimore state’s attorney, said prosecutors were “extremely disappointed” with the outcome.
“Justice is never easy, but it is always worth the pursuit and we will continue to fight for it in this case,” she said. “ ... Our prayers and sympathies are with Ms. Tiffany Wilson’s family, who were denied a resolution today in the death of their loved one.”
At trial, defense attorney Andrea Jaskulsky said scientific evidence supported Doughty’s account.
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“Although I am disappointed in the outcome, I have faith in our judicial system and I know that the jurors in this case listened to all of the evidence and I am appreciative of the time they put into this trial,” Jaskulsky said after court.
A medical examiner testified Wilson died from a stab wound of more than 4 inches on the left side of her chest. The knife blade slid between her ribs, puncturing her left lung and damaging her heart. The doctor ruled it a homicide, but conceded someone falling on a knife could provide enough force to cause the rapidly fatal injury.
Alternate juror Lee Yobbi told The Sun, after he was dismissed Thursday because he wasn’t needed for deliberations, that was he leaning toward a conviction because “of the nature of the wound — the location, angle, depth.”
A Baltimore Police Department analyst testified that only Wilson’s DNA was identified on the handle of the knife, but that there was another strand of DNA present that was too small to test. She said blood cells are more rich with DNA than skin cells, and that blood could’ve masked another person’s DNA on the handle.
The law says a split-second decision is enough to establish premeditation, and Yobbi said he believed that state had proven as much. Had he been in deliberations, he might have found himself among those pushing to find Doughty guilty for murder.
Others had too many questions.
“There was reasonable doubt about intention and that it could’ve happened accidentally,” one of the jurors said.