Family of slain Warren Fitzgerald student upset over mental exam

Tanaya Lewis appears in a Warren courtroom for a probable cause conference in September with her attorney, Mark Brown, middle. Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor Bill Cataldo is on the left.

Warren — An aunt of the 16-year-old Warren Fitzgerald high schooler who died after being attacked in class this month was visibly shaken as she left a city courtroom Thursday after a judge allowed the 17-year-old girl charged in the attack to undergo a psychiatric exam.

The family of Danya Gibson expressed outrage over the judge's order for Tanaya Lewis to undergo the exam for mental competency and criminal responsibility in connection with the slaying of Gibson, a reported friend, fellow classmate and alleged romantic rival.

"That's some BS," said Angela Hudson, an aunt of Gibson. "It was calculated. It was premeditated. It was carried out, and then when she was done, she laughed about it. She did what she wanted to do."

Lewis faces one count of first-degree murder in the death of Gibson. She is accused of stabbing Gibson twice in the chest with a straight-edge kitchen knife, striking her once in the heart, on Sept. 12 before a horrified classroom of about 20 students and a teacher at Warren Fitzgerald. The homicide was the first to occur inside a school in Macomb County history, according to authorities.

Hudson said students at the school told her there were no signs indicating impending violence.

"One girl said they were playing Four Square the day before," said Hudson, as tears streamed during her face. "My niece was just sitting in her seat. (Lewis) strategically sat in front of her to do it so fast, and then when she did it ... my niece ran, and (Lewis) put two more stabs to the back and laughed about it. Who does that? Who raises animals like that?"

Gibson's father also was angry over the judge's ruling.

"You thought about what you did," said Preston Gibson, following the probable cause conference for his daughter's alleged killer. "You trying to play the system. (Lewis) planned the attack on my baby girl."

Lewis was formally charged Sept. 14 in the fatal stabbing of Gibson, an honor student.  .

Lewis' attorney, Mark Brown, requested the mental competency and criminal responsibility. Brown refused comment following the hearing.

Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor Bill Cataldo agreed to the request, saying Lewis had some issues "that were known in advance," but he did not elaborate on what they were in court Thursday.

Lewis remains in custody without bond. Her parents have declined comment on the charges and the case.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has said there was no altercation between Lewis and Gibson, who were friends, before the attack.

"This was not a heat of passion. This was not a second-degree murder," he said at Lewis' arraignment earlier this month. "This wasn't an altercation of any sort. This was not 'I'm going to meet you behind the lockers.' This was premeditated. It was a complete surprise to our victim."

Smith said there are no videos of the deadly attack.

"It happened so lightning fast that nobody had any time to get on a phone," Smith said. 

Lewis' preliminary hearing will be delayed while the competency exam is conducted, which typically takes two months.

The exam will be conducted at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry.

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