Girl survived beating with metal pole by 3 other girls, only to be thrown in a river to drown
A teenage girl was vas viciously beaten with a metal pole by three other girls before she was thrown in a creek and left to drown after surviving the attack.
According to reports, 16-year-olds Ta’Niya Merriweather, Erin Taylor, and Tyeshia Whisenant were all charged with capital murder for taking the life of Lesley Luna Pantaleon, who was reported missing this summer.
Police were contacted about a body that had been seen in the Catoma Creek area near the Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama on July 4, and eventually, they found Pantaleon’s remains.
According to detective Ashley Brown, Pantaleon’s mobile phone log helped police link the other girls to her murder.
The accused have reportedly admitted in interviews that the reason for the crime was a missing gun.
The Montgomery Advisor tells how the weapon was apparently taken from the victim in the days before her death. She went to retrieve it on June 24 from an address she was given.
One lawyer said recently that Pantaleon apparently “put out a hit” on the address where Whisenant resided, even though it was thought Taylor’s cousin was the one who took the weapon.
The detective talked about how Pantaleon and Whisenant started fighting at the house, before the victim and the attackers, in addition to a juvenile boy whose name has not been disclosed, stepped into a car and drove off.
"Just take me home, you can have my truck."
Those are some of the last words Lesley Luna Pantaleon said to the three girls charged after her death, according to a Montgomery police detective. https://t.co/AOzlZ604vd
— MontgomeryAdvertiser (@MGMAdvertiser) October 27, 2020
While in the vehicle, Whisenant and the boy were involved in another altercation with Pantaleon, and Taylor, who was driving, pulled over in the woods.
There, Pantaleon was beaten severely with a metal pole taken from a gate.
Affidavits of the arrests say that the victim was also stabbed, before being left to die. The four killers then allegedly went to Whisenant’s house and confessed their crimes to another girl, whom they also offered the chance to see Pantaleon’s body.
When they got to back to the woods, Whisenant allegedly said that Pantaleon “needed to be taken care of,” after seeing that her feet moved.
The victim was then brought to the back of the car.
“They take her on a long, bumpy road for a couple of minutes, get to a creek and river area, then they threw her in the river.
The pole was also thrown in the river. According to Tyeshia, it appeared the victim was trying to swim,” Detective Brown said.
Shockingly, after the murder was committed, the group went to McDonald’s for smoothies at about 6 in the morning.
Police found the car, which belonged to the victim, at a parking lot.
Whisenant’s attorney, Ben Schoettker, has tried to convince the court that his client should not be charged with capital murder – a crime that applied when a murder occurs during the commission of another felony – because there was no robbery commited.
“If you look at the situation logically, it’s not a robbery and its not a capital murder,” he argued.
“What happened is terrible. It’s not capital murder. There’s no evidence that they killed this person to get a car and a cellphone. They killed this person because of a dispute, and it got out of hand. No one wanted her car or her cellphone.”
Prosecutor Scott Green, however, said:
“I do think this was a heinous and cruel capital murder. What we have is a teenage girl literally beaten so badly that the medical examiner had to take a guess as to what caused her death.
This is not because she made a phone call. That may have been what kicked it off, but once these four people became angry with her, she never stood a chance. They took her stuff and they took her and they beat her more and threw her in the creek to drown her or for her to die from her injuries. She would have been better off in a car with four monsters than with these people. They’re exactly where they belong.”
According to reports, Judge Monet Gaines declined to immediately make a decision on whether the cases would move ahead as capital murder cases.
See WKRG’s report on the story in the video below.
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