Tennessee woman pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter in death of cousin

A Tennessee woman who fatally stabbed a cousin after he
pulled her off his girlfriend during a fight outside a family home in Oceanside
was sentenced to 11 years in state prison on Monday.

Lashauna Blanks, 25, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the
death last Dec. 5 of Jerry Faulkner of Las Vegas. She was sentenced by Vista
Superior Court Judge Aaron Katz.

The victim's 18-year-old niece, Saquoia Ferrand, testified at an earlier
hearing that Faulkner's girlfriend charged Blanks about 7:45 p.m. and the
women fought in the front yard. The witness said the 35-year-old Faulkner twice
pulled the defendant off his girlfriend, the second time by the hair.

Ferrand said she saw Blanks go into the house and return to the victim,
who had his back to her. The witness said the defendant made a stabbing motion
toward Faulkner's shoulder, and, before collapsing, he uttered, “The bitch
stabbed me.”

Back in the house, Blanks told Ferrand's grandmother, “I just killed
your son,” according to the witness.

The day Faulkner was stabbed to death, Ferrand said she and Blanks ran
some errands before returning to the house on Los Arbolitos Boulevard.

The witness said Faulkner's girlfriend charged Blanks as she got out of
the car. Blanks' two young children were still sleeping in the back of the car
as the women fought, Ferrand said.

Jonathan Green, who lived behind the house where the stabbing took
place, testified that he came out to see the women fighting on the grass but
was surprised to see no one was doing anything to stop it.

He said a man — thought to be Faulkner — told him, “Just let `em

Relatives said disagreements between Blanks — a Memphis resident — and
the victim's girlfriend had produced bad blood between the cousins.

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