Meeting with “Lucky” today for lunch at noon at the Ecumenical Senior Center in Kalamazoo. Dr. Washington has an appointment and is unable to join us. I picked up lunch and it was looking like I would be a minute or two late. Seriously, I would get there at 12:02 on my current pace. I called the office and asked the staff member to let Lucky know that I was on my way. Just give me a minute or two. Apparently, Lucky forgot the pictures of Shayna that he wanted to bring me so he left to go home and get them. I actually pulled into the parking lot at noon, exactly. The staff members let me know Lucky had left when I got there.
One of the ladies serving lunch at the Center set me up in their back room/office area to wait for Lucky. I brought enough Lees Famous Chicken to share with the staff as well. I had never had it. Lucky requested it. The staff members seemed pretty happy with the selection.
Lucky showed up a while later with a few pictures of Shayna and to share lunch with me and the staff. I showed Lucky the picture of the dress. I reviewed the details of the project with Lucky. I told him how Valerie Abbott told the dry cleaners that Shayna had been murdered in her apartment. Lucky said “Well that explains a lot.”
We talked for quite a while about Shayna, how they met and came to live together, her kids, his grown kids and ex-wife, how he never expected to fall for a younger woman. (Lucky is closer to Valerie Abbotts’ age and in fact knew her when he was a kid.) He struck me as a warm individual with solid bead on life.
We talked about the civil filings I had found. None of Shayna’s kids lived with her. She had visitation once a week with her kids. Shayna’s mom has the oldest, Jayda, the oldest. Alissa, the middle child, lives with Amy, her paternal aunt, as dad is in jail. Samaj, her son, is in foster care. According to Lucky, the foster parents changed his name to Issac. Lucky says the kids still call him Samaj. I got a sweet picture of Shayna and her three kids from Lucky. Lucky said that after Shayna’s death Jayda asked him if he was still going to be their dad. He was very touched and said he told her “yes, of course.”
Lucky said when he met Shayna 2-3 years ago it was practically love at first sight. She told him of her car accident in 2006 and that she had medical issues but Lucky said he didn’t really see them at first.
We talked about the contents of the police report of Shayna’s death, the items I found through public record searches and through the Gazette archives. I noted that there had been no new involvement with the law in the last few years. Although it was not expressed in so many words, I took it that Shayna had more concern for her children’s futures now and that the love a good man had brought her around.
Based on the medical report and the analysis of council, Lucky believes that Shayna died as a result of taking a lethal cocktail of legally prescribed drugs she got in February from her doctor in Paw Paw, Michigan. He thinks a toxic cocktail of these prescribed drugs was what gradually wore her down over the course of a month and finally did her in. Malpractice was mentioned a few times but since Lucky and Shayna were not married yet, he had no standing to pursue legal action. Valerie Abbott would need to take the action. Lucky said he forwarded to Valerie the name of the attorney he consulted along with the information needed to take legal action. To his knowledge, nothing has happened.
This is a lot to take in. Most of my questions have been answered. Asking more would serve no purpose for me. I feel like my research is done now. Lucky seems like a really great guy who wanted the best for Shayna and her family. You could tell by the way he spoke of Shayna that he was looking forward to spending his life with her. They would have been married August 23.
Time to get some sketches rolling.