Investigation Discovery is examing the case of a teenager, Mikarah “Tinky” Sanders, who was gunned down on New Years’s Eve 2009 by her boyfriend, Matthew Dubois, in Burien, Washington.
On December 31, 2009, sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call at Dubois’s apartment in Burien, a suburb south of Seattle, WA.; inside, they found Sanders lying face down on a bed. She had been shot in the face with a .357-caliber Taurus handgun.
The 15-year-old Sanders was quickly transported to a hospital in Seattle, where she, tragically, passed away.
The police followed a trail of blood to a nearby apartment, where they found the 16-year-old Dubois with a female acquaintance and suffering from a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Dubois told the police that he and Sanders had been the victims of a gangland shooting.
Dubois told the police that they had been shot by a Black man, aged 19, with a blue bandana. He said the man had barged into the apartment and started firing.
The blue bandana was apparently a reference to a South Seattle street gang aligned with the Crips, whose members typically wear blue.
The police initially instigated a rigorous manhunt for a gangland member with a blue bandana. However, they also became suspicious of Dubois’s story. They were surprised that he seemed so unconcerned about the welfare of his girlfriend.
The police soon learned that the man with the blue bandana was a figment of Dubois’s imagination and that he was the real killer. After the murder, he had shot himself to confuse the detectives.
Mikarah Sanders murdered because of a MySpace post
When investigators questioned the female friend with Dubois, she admitted that she had been present with Sanders and Dubois when they started arguing over a MySpace post that involved Sanders’s ex-boyfriend. She also said she’d seen Dubois shoot himself and that he had asked her to lie to the police for him.
In August 2011, Dubois entered an Alford Plea, which allows him to maintain his innocent, but is also an acknowledgment that a jury would likely find him guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
The prosecution made a deal with Dubois as a lack of evidence meant they could not be sure they could get a conviction.
Dubois avoided a 22-year maximum jail sentence in taking the plea and instead received 14 years in prison. He will also be required to undergo community supervision for three years after his release.
Dubois had a lengthy juvenile criminal history, which included burglary, theft, and unlawful possession of a firearm, and he was wearing an electronic bracelet at the time of the murder.
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A Grave New Year airs at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.