Man charged with murder in shooting death of 15-year-old appears in court


by WHAS11

Posted on June 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 12:48 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The man accused of shooting and killing a teenage girl faced a judge in Louisville Wednesday morning.

Antonio McFarland, 21, was arrested Tuesday  at 2000 block of W. Jefferson St. at 4:45 p.m. He's charged with murder and tampering with police evidence in the Monday night shooting death of 15-year-old Tysha Spearman.

Spearman was found in the alley way of 18th and Crop streets and was pronounced dead at Kosair Children’s Hospital. The principal at Academy at Shawnee, where she attended school, was also Spearman’s former next door neighbor.

“I got to watch them grow up. You drive by and see things move from big wheels to bicycles,” Look said.

Police Chief Steve Conrad said they are working with citizens and community leaders to try to stop the cycle of crime.

“Violence in our community isn't only a police problem, it’s truly a community problem, and I think we have a potential by all working together to address some of those underlying issues,” Conrad said.

WHAS11 also obtained a copy of McFarland’s arrest history that dates back to 2009. In addition to his current murder and tampering with evidence charges, he’s also facing charges for allegedly trafficking cocaine, marijuana, giving an officer a false name and fleeing and evading police.

Spearman's friend, Deashia Cheatham, said the Shawnee High School student usually kept to herself.

“All she did was talk about school and how she wanted to go to work to get her own apartment and help her mamma,” Cheatham said. The teen died from a gunshot wound to her back.

Spearman was a student at Shawnee High School. Her father, Tyson Gibbs, was killed in 2004. Police say he was murdered over an argument.

Community liaison Christopher 2X told WHAS11 an argument may have led to the teen’s death too. Christopher 2X was at the hospital with the family and said she was shot during a fight, but police say they have no information about what led to the violence.

Cheatham described Spearman as a fun loving person, “She liked to dance. When we would walk down the street all she did was dance.”

Cheatham’s mom, Emanya Johnson, said the recent shooting are becoming all too common. “It’s hitting too close to home. Where it is their friends it ain’t just in the movies,” Johnson said.