Jailed Orange teen admits she killed girl

The face of Jackie "Angel" Curtis haunted Maya Derkovic for the past nine months.

Finally, the 18-year-old gang member and Orange County Jail inmate couldn't keep her secret anymore.


In an effort to find peace, she told a jailer and later detectives how she choked 15-year-old Angel while two fellow gang members held the victim's arms.

Derkovic's story helped unravel a mystery that began Jan. 18 when Angel's badly decomposed body was found along the edge of a retention pond near Goldenrod Road.


"What I did was terribly wrong," Derkovic told the Orlando Sentinel in an exclusive interview from jail Monday night. "It's time to 'fess up to what I did and do the right thing."

The Sheriff's Office has charged Amiri "Sin" Lundy, 20; Dominique "D" Tolbert, 19; and Derkovic with killing Angel in an act of crude gang justice.

Lundy headed the 3rd World Rolling Sixties -- a spinoff of the West Coast Crips, according to court records and interviews Monday. Known as "O.G.," or the "Original Gangsta, " he also was an ex-boyfriend of the girl whom he, Derkovic and Tolbert are accused of killing.

All three lured Angel to a retention pond near Goldenrod Road intending to kill her, said sheriff's homicide Detective Brian Cross.

"She was set up," Cross said Monday. "She knew these people and trusted them."

Shortly after New Year's Day, Derkovic told the Sentinel, Lundy grew paranoid that Angel was trying to set up him and his family to be attacked by the rival gang she belonged to. He accused her of stealing Lundy's special book that held secrets and rules of the Rolling Sixties.

That's when the idea of killing Angel came up, said Derkovic, who was the highest-ranking female in the gang and a friend of the victim.

"He made her seem to be like a spy."


A few nights later -- Derkovic said she thinks it was Jan. 9 -- she and Tolbert were walking to her job at a bakery on Goldenrod Road. Lundy joined the two, telling them he had called Angel to meet them at a Hess gas station nearby.

When Angel showed up, the four walked toward the bakery. One of the men, Derkovic said, handed her a knife he had wrapped in a bandanna.

"He said, 'You know what that's for?' and I said, 'I know what you are talking about.' "

They hung out in the neighborhood behind the bakery, ending up at the overgrown pond at the end of Alachua Street.

Angel borrowed Lundy's phone to call for a ride home. After she handed the phone back, "I grabbed her," Derkovic said.

Derkovic pulled out the knife, and the women struggled. Angel grabbed the weapon, and it broke. At one point, Angel grabbed Derkovic's bandanna with her bloody hand.


Then the two men grabbed the victim's arms, she said.

"That's when I got on top of her," Derkovic said. Derkovic said she grabbed Angel's throat and pushed. Then she eased the pressure and pushed again.

"Before I knew it, she stopped struggling," Derkovic said.

After she let go, Derkovic said, one of the men stepped on the victim's neck.

"I can only ask Angel to forgive me for what I did to her," Derkovic told the Sentinel.

Details of the case were still being investigated Monday, but the Sheriff's Office learned in the past week that Angel, who attended Winter Park High School's Ninth Grade Center, agonized over her life as a gangster girl.


"I went through her diary, and she really wanted to change her life around. It really impressed me," Cross said. "This was a girl who truly loved her mother, and her mother truly loved her. . . . This is just a tragic and senseless loss."

Her body was discovered partly in the water Jan. 18. It had been there for about two days, and decomposition covered up all signs of obvious trauma, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner's Office ruled the cause of death as undetermined, but Cross never set aside the investigation, according to homicide Sgt. Allen Lee.

Then someone made an anonymous phone call about a week ago to Crimeline.

The tipster said two people involved in the death had been picked up within weeks of the killing in connection with an armed carjacking near Chickasaw Trail. Those two, awaiting sentencing in jail, were Derkovic and Tolbert.

Derkovic identified herself as a full member of the 3rd World Rolling Sixties gang within minutes of her Jan. 28 arrest for armed carjacking, county court records show. She was driving the carjacked victim's 2006 black Toyota when deputies spotted it on Valencia College Lane and she and Tolbert jumped out to try to run away, records show.


Both wore beads in the gang's black-and-blue colors. Tolbert, originally from Pensacola, also wore a black-and-blue bandanna and carried an imitation 9 mm pistol Derkovic is charged with using to take the car at gunpoint, records show.

"Maya is a pretty established member of this group and has been for long time," Cross said of the lanky, 6-feet-2 teenager with a "Daddy P" tattoo on her neck, a souvenir of her time as a prostitute in Miami.

Derkovic first joined a street gang several years ago when her family lived in South Florida. Born in Bosnia, she went by the nickname "Luda," which means "Crazy" in her native language, according to Cross, who interviewed her in the jail Monday afternoon.

Tolbert pleaded guilty to the carjacking and, in August, wrote the judge an elaborately illustrated letter asking for leniency. His drawing featured a gavel labeled, "Time Served" and a set of open handcuffs.

If convicted of the new charge of first-degree murder, Tolbert, Derkovic and Lundy face life in prison and, possibly, the death penalty.

Lundy was picked up late Friday, jail records show. It was only the second time he had been arrested, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


The prior arrest involved armed drug dealing at Olympia High School after a school resource officer charged Lundy, then 16, with possession of marijuana, a .22-caliber pistol and eight bullets on Sept. 12, 2005, records show. The arrest followed a tip from another student's mother who accused Lundy of firing two shots at her son days earlier during a fight in Orlo Vista, records show.

Prosecutors later dropped both charges, records show.

Derkovic's mother, who did not want to be named to protect her younger children's identity, has visited the jail regularly since January. She knew something bothered her daughter besides the carjacking charge but the teen would not say why.

"For the past four to five months, she always broke down and cried and said, 'There's something else I need to tell you, but I can't," her mother said Monday evening. "In one way she feels so much better now. She can sleep."

After years of trying to control her daughter's misbehavior, she said her daughter must accept responsibility for her actions, whatever they were and whatever punishment faces her.

"Taking somebody's life is something I cannot imagine any child of mine doing. I can't imagine what that other girl's mother is feeling," she said. "For my child it is too late. If she did it, she's going to have to deal with herself. Someone else may learn from what happens to her."