Teen charged with killing Lyft driver in Oakland County by shooting her in head from back seat

Kemarrie Phillips charged in death of Dina May-Terrell

The Pontiac scene where Kemarrie Davion Phillips is accused of killing Lyft driver Dina May-Terrell. (WDIV)

PONTIAC, Mich. – A teenager has been charged with killing a Lyft driver in Oakland County by shooting her in the back of the head while riding in her car, officials said.

Deputies were called around 5:15 a.m. Friday (Oct. 21) to the corner of West Rundell Street and Putnam Avenue in Pontiac.

When they arrived, deputies found a gray Nissan on the curb, wedged between a utility pole and a street sign. They said Dina May-Terrell, 49, of Eastpointe, was sitting in the driver’s seat with a gunshot wound to her head.

She was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.

“She wasn’t just a Lyft driver,” her ex-husband, Johnny Terrell Jr., said. “She was a mother. She was a grandmother. She was an Aunt. She was a sister.”

Dina May-Terrell with her family. (WDIV)

Detectives found May-Terrell’s cellphone, and the Lyft app was still running. There were directions leading from a Walmart in Rochester Hills to an address on the northeast side of Pontiac, and the ride hadn’t been completed, according to authorities.

During a search near South Merrimac Street and Hollywood Avenue, officials said they found evidence that linked Kemarrie Davion Phillips, 19, of Pontiac, to the crime.

Officials believe May-Terrell had been about seven miles into the drive and nearing the destination when Phillips pulled out a gun and fired it from the back seat, striking May-Terrell in the back of her head. The Nissan crashed into the utility pole, and Phillips fled, according to police.

He was taken into custody without incident and charged with open murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He’s being held without bond at the Oakland County Jail.

Kemarrie Davion Phillips (Oakland County Sheriff's Office)

If convicted of open murder, Phillips faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

A probable cause conference at 50th District Court is scheduled for Nov. 3, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Nov. 10.

Terrell Jr. said May-Terrell was a mother of three and a grandmother of three.

“Right now, my sons are inconsolable,” Terrell Jr. said. “They don’t want to speak. They just want to lay their mother to rest with respect, as well as the rest of her family.”

A memorial for Dina May-Terrell at the Pontiac intersection where she was murdered. (WDIV)

Previous coverage

A 19-year-old man was arrested for shooting and killing a woman working as a Lyft driver in Pontiac. The incident occurred at the intersection of Putnam Avenue and Rundell Street around 5 a.m. The Lyft driver received a call for a fare Friday (Oct. 21) morning to pick up someone at the Rochester Hills Walmart.
The family of the Lyft driver killed in Pontiac is speaking out for the first time Monday. The shooting occurred last Friday morning at Putnam Avenue and Rundell street. A 19-year-old man was arrested in connection to the shooting.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.