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Friday, January 2, 2015

Murder LA 000065


22-year-old Shontae Blanche had recently found out she was having a girl. The CSUN student, studying for a law enforcement career, had been married for two years.

November 5th was her husband, Emery's, 21st birthday, but he was in police custody for some kind of violation - someone supossedly familiar with the situation stressed that it was not for a crime.

Shontae had just returned from visiting relatives for a funeral in New Orleans. Somehow she found herself outside a Big Lots in South Los Angeles around 2:30pm.

A strange scene unfolded in the parking lot there, at the corner of Slauson and Western.

Shontae Blanche
via LA Times

The details are sketchy, but apparently there was a skirmish involving perhaps as many as 30 women, stemming from a fight between two women over a man. The number seems a bit outlandish, as does then-LAPD-Deputy-Chief Charlie Beck's claim that it was an organized melee.

It is unclear from reports whether Shontae was a participant or knew anybody else there.

What is clear, though, is that after a few minutes Unique K. Bishop, one of those involved in the fracas, got into her gold convertible and drove into the crowd. Shontae was killed after being struck, dragged, then run over, and at least one other woman was injured. The baby didn't make it.

The driver fled the scene but turned herself in at a police department a couple of days later, after discovering the police were looking for her. She claimed to have only accidentally hit the victims.

The trial doesn't seem to have been covered much by the media, with the LA Times simply reporting in 2010 that Bishop had been convicted of second-degree murder but found not guilty of attempted and first-degree murder. Her sentence was 30 years to life.

The lack of coverage is surprising considering how many questions the story naturally raises.