Raleigh man accused of drowning daughter won't face death penalty
Posted May 6, 2016
Durham, N.C. — Prosecutors said Friday that they won't pursue the death penalty against a Raleigh man accused of drowning his 3-year-old daughter last fall.
Calista Lassiter died three days after being pulled from a pond at the Audubon Lake apartment complex in Durham. Her father, Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter, 29, is charged with murder in her death.
Alan Lassiter called 911 on Sept. 20 to report that his children were drowning. He told the dispatcher that he was having issues with pedophilia and had sought help from Child Protective Services, and the decision to remove his children from his care drove him to the drowning attempt.
An off-duty Durham County deputy pulled Calista and her 5-year-old sister from the pond. The girls' 7-year-old brother had escaped and ran for help, police said.
Lassiter also is charged with two counts of attempted murder in connection with the drowning attempts on the older children.
The children's mother, Ashley Lassiter, 27, is charged with two counts of negligent child abuse resulting in serious physical injury. Authorities said she was supposed to keep her husband away from the children following allegations that he was having inappropriate sexual thoughts about children, as well as suicidal and homicidal thoughts.