Memphians Say Shakara Dickens Had Options Other Than Murdering Her Child
(Memphis) In the shadows of the Raleigh Village Apartments on Yale, Lawrence Scott and his wife, Trina Tilson, watch their grandson, Brandon, and their daughter, Kyra Mae, play.
Their home is just across the street from where Shakara Dickens lived, the mother whose now admitted killing her daughter, Lauryn.
Tilson said, “Any crime against children bothers me. There are other options if you feel overwhelmed as a parent contacting Child Protective Services, the Department of Human Services and even a trusted family member.”
Scott agrees. He said, “Like she said a trusted friend or parent and maybe just stayed with them for a time and let her get herself together and then and maybe reunite with the child.”
During her sentencing hearing, Dickens admitted suffocating her daughter and then throwing her body in a dumpster because she wouldn’t stop crying.
Jay Stewart is a father, himself. He knew Dickins and her daughter. Stewart said, “She(Lauryn) didn’t do anything to anybody. If you feel you want to get rid of your child, put them up for adoption. You don’t have to kill them.”
The Memphis Police Department has investigative units such as the Commission on Missing and Exploited Children or COMEC and an Internet Crimes Against Children unit.
They say phone calls and records helped them determined if Dickens was telling the truth during their investigation.
Sgt. Len Edwards is with COMEC. He said, “I think anytime you’re calling for help it’s imperative that you tell the truth.”
Lt. Wilton Cleveland is with the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit. Cleveland said, “If they used technology to commit these crimes we will eventually figure out how they did it and what they did.”
With Dickens’ confession, the hope now is perhaps one family may begin having closure.
Scott said, “After all of these years put away speculation, find a body and have a burial and finally just close it.”
Dickens could have served 54 years but was sentenced to 19 after making an agreement with prosecutors not to appeal for a new trial and not to receive parole.
That agreement required the courtroom confession.
With credit for good behavior, Dickens could be out in 14 years. She will also receive credit for the two years she has been locked up.