DENVER — A 17-year-old boy is accused of fatally shooting a 16-year-old girl and dumping her body near a dumpster on the same night he shot and wounded her boyfriend, according to an arrest affidavit from Denver Police.
Deontre Hollie, 17, was arrested Jan. 21 in connection with the killing of Tayanna Manuel, who was found dead Dec. 26 outside an apartment complex on North Salida Street in the Gateway-Green Valley Ranch neighborhood. She had been shot in the head.
Manuel's mother, Pamela Jackson, compared hearing that detectives made an arrest in the case to winning the lottery.
"Because I was happy that he was finally caught," she said. "And now he's going get what's coming to him."
Prosecutors alleged Wednesday that Hollie shot Manuel and wounded her boyfriend in a shooting days before her body was found. The boyfriend survived his injuries.
Hollie is charged with:
- First-degree murder – after deliberation
- Attempted first-degree murder- after deliberation
- First-degree assault with a deadly weapon – serious bodily injury
- Tampering with physical evidence of a felony crime
Just before 7 p.m. on Dec. 23, Denver officers responded to 4699 N. Kittredge St. for a report of a shooting. That's where they found the boy, who had been shot in the head. Due to his condition, he was initially unable to speak with detectives.
About 12 hours later, Denver Police received a missing person report about Manuel. As part of the report, police were told that Manuel was last known to be with the shooting victim and that since the shooting her phone had been shut off.
Around 9 a.m. on Dec. 24, someone reported that they had located a Honda CR-V possibly associated with the shooting in the area of 48th and Ceylon streets. The caller said there was blood in the car. Police learned it had been reported stolen in November.
Before police arrived, a man drove off in the car, the affidavit says. However, in the area where the car was parked there was blood, a backpack, and floormats with the suspected blood on them, the affidavit says.
The car was recovered on Dec. 29 in Lakewood. According to the affidavit, evidence in the car, including a bullet fragment in a door, suggested at least one of the victims was shot inside it, the affidavit says.
On Christmas Day, the surviving victim communicated some details by writing to police. He recalled that he was last with Manuel and Hollie but could not recall other details.
When he was told the next day that Manuel had been found dead, he wrote down the name "Trey" for police. A detective asked if they were friends, and he wrote "used to be" and wrote he had "an argument with Trey" but couldn't recall why, the affidavit says.
Cellphone data from Manuel's phone and the suspect's phone indicated that they were together on the day of the shooting, and right around the time of the shooting, her phone disconnected from the network.
Minutes after the male victim was found on North Kittredge Street, the suspect's phone pinged in the area on Salida Street where Manuel's body was eventually found, the affidavit says. Surveillance video also showed a Honda CR-V in the area.
"She had a wonderful soul," Jackson said of her daughter.
She also had a sense of style -- and wanted to train as a beautician when she got older.
"She loved to do hair and have her nails done. Seemed like she was getting her nails done every other week, but she was a teenager and so that's what she loved to do," Jackson said.
She also loved her phone like a teenager and she loved taking smiling selfies with her sisters, her family recalled.
"That smile just melted my heart. She could ask for anything and she would have it," Tayanna's grandmother Edith Jackson-Norris said.
"I would've gladly took that bullet for her," she said. "I've had my life lived. She was just beginning and she had so much to live for."
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