Woman convicted in hair weave killings collapses as guilty verdict read

Woman convicted in hair weave killings collapses as guilty verdict read
Woman convicted in hair weave killings collapses as guilty verdict read
Posted at 1:56 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 13:56:00-05

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis jury has decided the fate of a 19-year-old woman accused of killing three people over hair weave.

Shelby Isaac was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of E.J. Tate, his girlfriend Edwina Thomas, and their unborn child in January 2016.

WMC Action News 5's crew on the scene reported Isaac collapsed as the judge polled the jurors. 

When Judge James Lammy started reading the verdict, Isaac put her head down. As he continued to read verdicts on the other counts, Isaac fainted and was on the ground for at least five minutes as deputies tried to revive her.

They finally got her up and out of the courtroom as her family erupted in cries.  Some jurors also began to cry.

During closing arguments Friday, prosecutors told jurors they had a responsibility to uphold justice.

"She took their life. You've got a job to do, do it. Find her guilty," prosecutor Gavin Smith said.

Investigators said Isaac set up a meeting with Tate and Thomas. They said she planned the meeting so she could get a refund on hair weave she'd bought from the couple.

Prosecutors said she knew exactly what she was doing when she brought a gun to that meeting and opened fire on the couple.

"We know that she took the time to pull out that gun; she took the time to extend her arm and point it at these people," Smith said.

During the trial, Smith showed the jury fingerprint evidence that linked Isaac to the crime scene. Witnesses also said Isaac had blood on her clothes and a lot of cash on her person shortly after the couple was killed.

Isaac's defense team said the witnesses statements were all inconsistent. The attorneys said there was no solid proof pointing to Isaac as the shooter.

"When you follow the credible and unbiased evidence in this case, it does not lead you to Shelby Isaac," Lauren Funchs said.

Meanwhile, Tate's family members said they just want justice served.

"I do want justice for my son," Tate's mother Gloria said. "I don't want her on the streets walking freely, and I have to go to the grave site every week to talk to my child."

Each day brings new tears for Gloria. She sat through closing arguments Friday after four days of testimony, and she said she's convinced Isaac did it.

"The finger should be pointed at Shelby Isaac. She's the one who said she wanted her money back," Gloria said.

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