In a Northeast Portland strip club in June 2016, a woman killed her childhood rival by stabbing her in the neck three times. On Monday she was sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to The Oregonian.
Rinita Linell Lowe was 23 when she got into an argument with Shantina Turner at Club Skinn. The argument escalated when Lowe pulled a knife out of her purse and began thrusting it into Turner’s neck. According to deputy district attorney Kevin Demer, the two women knew each other from childhood and had a history of conflict.
Turner was 29 at the time and unarmed. Court documents show that a bouncer attempted to separate the two women, but it was already too late. Lowe’s attorney Jason Lee argued that Turner had a history of violence, and that the stabbing was an act of defense. Lee stated that surveillance video showed Turner choking Lowe moments before the stabbing.
At the time Lowe was a dancer at Tommy’s Too strip club in Portland where she was working before heading to Club Skinn, another gentlemen's club. She was originally charged with murder, but pled down to first-degree manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon.
Family and friends of both Lowe and Turner attended Lowe’s sentencing on Monday. “I have yet to see Ms. Lowe even look at me,” Turner’s father, Davood Sham-Sundin, said at the time. “I’m the father of the girl that you killed.”
When the judge asked her to give a statement, Lowe apologized to Turner’s family. She claims she had no intention of killing Turner. “I apologize for my actions,” the 25-year-old said. Officials say the murder was not premeditated, and that the two just happened to cross paths that night.
The stabbing became the third murder at Club Skinn within six years.