El Reno Family Mourns Death of Stabbed Teen

Sunday, March 28th 2010, 9:43 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

EL RENO, Oklahoma -- A teen's family says he was defending his girlfriend when someone stabbed him to death early Sunday morning.

Family and friends say Levi Lusty was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and now are they are grieving over the teen that just turned 18.

"Just remember his smile," said Levi's mother, Lisa Estrada. "He smiled and laughed when he was four days old and he smiled ever since."

In Estrada's eyes, Levi will always be her little boy, full of smiles. Now, she's struggling to cope with his death.

"Still waiting to hear his car radio pull up," Estrada said.

According to police, Levi was at his girlfriend's house last night when two men showed up, left and then came back.

"They broke a window and we came out to see what was going on and it ended up getting to a scuffle with them," said witness Scott Engel. "They tried to stab me, but I caught them with my hand and they cut part of my thumb off."

Engel had a minor injury but Levi was fatally wounded.

"They actually stabbed the other young man and he crawled and stumbled here and, in fact, he ended up dying on my daughter's arms," Engel said.

Jeremy Pendleton, 28, and Damon Richey, 19, were arrested in connection to the stabbing.

Police say when they showed up, Pendleton jumped out of a car and ran for several blocks until police caught him. Both he and Richey were taken to jail.

Pendleton has a criminal past, including convictions of robbery, burglary and assault with a dangerous weapon. Lusty's family said they think he should have been behind bar's.

"I want him to get the death penalty," Levi's grandmother, Cindy Smallwood said. "I don't want him to ever stab another person, ever."

El Reno Police say the incident is believed to be the result of an earlier argument that happened sometime last week.

Four other passengers inside the car were released without charges.

More: El Reno Police Make Arrests In Teen's Homicide