19-year-old found guilty in triple hair weave murder
MEMPHIS, Tenn. —A jury has returned a guilty verdict in the 2016 hair weave triple murder.
Shelby Isaac, 19, was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of reckless homicide and one count of criminally negligent homicide.
Isaac fell to the ground in shock as the first guilty verdict was read around 7 p.m. Friday after about three hours of deliberations.
Multiple members of Isaac’s family were escorted from the courtroom after they began crying, one shouting that Isaac was innocent.
In January 2016, Isaac fatally shot EJ Tate, Edwina Thomas and Thomas’ unborn child at a northeast Memphis apartment complex in a dispute over hair weave.
“She only got the little extra three bundles of hair, maybe $200 or $300. It wasn’t worth a life,” said Tate’s mother, Gloria.
Prosecutors had sought first-degree murder convictions in all three deaths, but the jury ended up settling on lesser charges.
“The embryo was the charge in which they convicted her of criminally negligent homicide and the reckless homicide was for the female victim,” said prosecutor Glen Baity.
“Sometimes that can indicate that it was possibly a compromised verdict. If you have some very strong on one side, some very strong on the other,” said Issac lawyer Lauren Fuchs.
Isaac will return to court for sentencing December 15.
She faces from 15 to 25 years in prison for the most serious charge: second-degree murder.
Prosecutors say they haven’t decided what sentence they will ask for, but Fuchs said she intends to ask for the 15-year minimum.
Tate’s parents told WREG Friday afternoon they had been praying for a guilty verdict for almost two years.
They say they’re relieved to finally have one, even though they know it will never erase their pain.
“You’re burdened down and I don’t think it goes away. A part of our life is just changed forever. We’ll never be the same,” said Gloria Tate.
Members of Issac’s family declined to speak with WREG following the reading of the guilty verdicts.