WILKINSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Officials say two individuals have been sentenced in connection to a woman’s death during a theft involving her tax return money in Wilkinsburg.
The Allegheny County District’s Attorney Office announced Tuesday that Laya Whitley and Dane Taylor appeared before Judge Mark Tranquili in connection with the February 2018 Wilkinsburg shooting death of Keiauna Davis.The office said Whitley and Taylor pleaded guilty to charges of third-degree murder and robbery.
Whitley also pleaded guilty to conspiracy, tampering with evidence and criminal use of a communication facility, while Taylor also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and firearms violation, the DA said.
Both accepted a plea deal, with Whitley agreeing to a prison term of 20 to 50 years, and Taylor agreeing to a term of 30 to 60 years, officials said.
Kaijin Scott is still awaiting trial for his alleged role as he seeks representation.
The criminal complaint says Wilkinsburg police responded to a call of shots fired and someone suffering a gunshot wound.
Upon arrival, officers found Davis laying on the sidewalk suffering from a suspected gunshot wound. Paramedics transported her to U.P.M.C. Presbyterian Hospital where she later died from a perforating gunshot wound to the pelvis.
Police said that Davis had received $3,000 cash from her income tax return that Davis’ grandmother brought her during her lunch break at the Dollar General Store, where Davis worked.
Police said Whitley saw the money and set the plan in motion to get the cash.
“I essentially saved her life today, because she was looking at life without parole,” said Blaine Jones, who represented Davis. “She did get 20 to 50 years, so we are hopeful she will be out in her 40s.”
Police say that as Davis sent a text to Taylor about the money, and Taylor got a ride with Scott.
Davis was followed by Taylor and Scott in the car. They pulled the car in front of her at the 1700 block of Laketon Road. Scott exited the vehicle and pretended to fix the vehicle while Taylor chased down Davis.
A struggle ensued, several gunshots were fired, one of which struck Davis.
Taylor retrieved a purse from Davis and returned to the car. An envelope inside the purse contained money and the purse was tossed out of the vehicle before they fled the scene in the vehicle, the complaint states.
“I think he understood what happened….understood the consequences ….understood the possibility of serving life without parole for first- or second-degree murder, but came to the conclusion that he had to plead guilty based on the facts which pretty much speaks for itself,” said attorney Frank Walker, who represented Taylor.