13-year-old girl and her mother charged with murder for fatal stabbing of honor roll student De’Kayla Dansberry

Chicago Sun-Times

De’Kayla Dansberry | Facebook

De’Kayla Dansberry | Facebook

“I killed her. I killed her.”

It’s what the 13-year-old girl who fatally stabbed De’Kayla Dansberry, 15, in the chest said as she washed blood off the murder weapon minutes after after the two got into fight, according to eyewitness testimony.

“Oh Jesus,” Dansberry’s mother, Sharon, whispered as she watched the proceedings.

The girl charged with the slaying wore a pink hoodie and left the apartment with a knife, the eyewitness told authorities.

The girl’s mother, Tamika Gayden, 35, of the 6400 block of South King Drive, was charged with murder and felony contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Chicago Police said. Gayden gave the knife to her daughter, according to police.

Tamika Gayden | Chicago Police

Tamika Gayden | Chicago Police

A video of the stabbing exists, Cook County prosecutors said at the juvenile court hearing Tuesday afternoon, though they failed to say if the footage came from the cellphone of one of the many children who looked on as the fight broke out about 7:30 p.m. Saturday night in the 6500 block of South King Drive.

A second eyewitness said the girl, who’s in seventh grade, left her apartment “like she wanted to fight.” And she was “panicking” upon return as she tried to dispose of the murder weapon.

One witness said the girl was the only person she knew who had a knife at the fight, authorities said.

When asked how she intended to plea, the girl told Cook County Judge Cynthia Ramirez, in a barely audible voice, “not guilty.”

She mostly remained silent, hands behind her back in a blue county-issued uniform and looked at the floor.


The girl’s name is not being released because of her age. Her mother was scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday. They lived just a block away from the murder scene.

Neither of her parents showed up to the hearing. A woman who was identified as her aunt arrived late.

Ramirez denied a request that she be released with electronic monitoring, and ordered the girl to remain in custody pending trial.

The girl’s attorney said she had “no publishable background” and was “absolutely terrified” of the situation she was in.

After the hearing, Dansberry’s father, Julian Glanton, said he didn’t know what caused the fight.

“I’m sure it was probably just children, like kid stuff. But it shouldn’t have escalated to where someone was stabbed or anything like that,” he said.

“I miss my daughter. I just want justice for whoever did this to my daughter,” Glanton said. “There’s too much crazy madness going on in the world. I’m just lost for words. I don’t know what to say.”

Pastor Corey Brooks, who ministered to Dansberry and her family from his Englewood church, said he also did not know what caused the fight.

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