Man shot dead hours before daughter's birthday - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man shot dead hours before daughter's birthday

By Gordon Boyd
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Barely twelve hours after Lavante Dontrell Favors' murder, his family has postponed the birthday party for his daughter Kamya. She turned 4 Friday.

Mother, uncles and aunts are clearing everything out of his duplex at 3726 Dorris Street.

All that his killer or killers -didn't trash.

Favors' girlfriend found his body Thursday night on the living room floor of that duplex. He had been shot in the head. The girlfriend told Chattanooga Police that he had locked the door behind her when she went grocery shopping two hours earlier, and that the door was still locked when he returned.

"I just don't understand how somebody could come to the house and rob him," his aunt Tarmela Favors says. "He worked for what he had. He was loved by everybody--he didn't bother nobody."

His aunts remember the loving nephew and young father. Two uncles concede Favors' more than minor scrapes with the law.

He was charged with attempted first degree murder and reckless endangerment in October 2007. He was accused of firing a handgun during a fight over a drug deal. Both charges were dismissed two months later.

Six months before, Valentines Day, he was charged with assaulting a woman and possession of marijuana. The assault charge was dismissed. He received suspended sentences on that possession charge, and another leveled exactly two weeks later.

Since then, family members say he had been rebuilding his life -- figuratively and literally. He was remodeling the Dorris Street duplex, and another larger house elsewhere in the Alton Park neighborhood.

"He was thinking of his family," Tarmela Favors says.

"I think somebody just wanted something you know. His house had been broken into before," she says. "Personally, I think it was somebody who knew him."

Neighbors have told family and police that they heard nothing.

Unfortunately, people aren't always as forthcoming and they don't always tell police the truth," Sgt. Jerri Weary says.

"So we have to filter through these things."

"It's gonna take courage," Favors' uncle George Taylor says. "Do they have it? I don't know."

Taylor tells Eyewitness News that a code of silence pervades and prevails in crimes such as these. Too many fear payback, or they simply don't want to get involved.

 But he's determined that his nephew will be more than a number on a blotter; Chattanooga's second murder of 2011.

"This is where you live," he says. "If you don't come forward, if you don't get involved--it could be you next time."

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