Local News

Raleigh dad charged with murder in daughter's drowning death

Posted September 24, 2015 12:56 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2015 4:02 p.m. EDT

— Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter, who admitted to throwing his three children into a Durham pond earlier this week, was charged with murder Thursday for the death of his 3-year-old daughter, Calista Lassiter. A 5-year-old and a 7-year-old survived.

Authorities said Calista was entirely underwater when an off-duty sheriff's deputy pulled her from the pond Sunday night. She had been in critical condition at a hospital since then, said Durham Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.

Lassiter is also charged with three counts of attempted murder. Police said they found Calista's 5-year-old sister, floating in the pond and crying. That child was released from the hospital Thursday. A 7-year-old boy got away from Lassiter and ran for help, police said.

Lassiter is jailed on a bond of $2 million and is awaiting a court hearing next month.

According to sources that spoke to WRAL News, officers were delayed in serving Lassiter with the upgraded murder charge Thursday after he tried to commit suicide Wednesday night while in custody at the Durham Jail. the sources said that Lassiter attempted to jump off of one of the top levels of the pod where inmates are held after learning of his daughter's death.

On Sunday night, Lassiter flagged down passers-by at the Audubon Lake apartments and told them he thought his son had been kidnapped and needed help finding him, apartment complex manager Sylvia Scott said Tuesday.

It wasn't until later that Lassiter told Scott and a 911 operator that he'd thrown his 3- and 5-year-old daughters in the pond, Scott said. The girls were pulled from about 5 feet of water by Durham County Sheriff's Deputy David Earp, who lives nearby.

Lassiter, 29, lived in Raleigh and apparently wound up at the apartment complex randomly, according to Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez.

Court records show Lassiter and his wife had a rocky start to their marriage six years ago.

Ashley Ivey sought a domestic violence protection order and signed a statement May 15, 2009, that said Lassiter "threatened to throw hot oil in my face and cut my hair off."

"He also threatened to take my son from me for a long time. All this started because I didn't want to marry him."

Ivey added that "things of this nature" had also happened previously.

Ivey voluntarily dismissed her complaint four days later. Less than two weeks after that, Ivey and Lassiter were married.