By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter
I hate the fact that after 337 murders in 2020, the sixth year in a row with 300-plus homicides, it took all of four hours for the city to register the first murder of 2021.
I hate the fact that the first homicide of 2021 continues the recent dramatic increase in the murder of women, mostly women of color in Baltimore.
But, what really breaks my heart about the first murder of 2021, is that it feels like a double tragedy.
Tiffany Wilson, 33, a beautiful young Black woman from West Baltimore allegedly was the victim of domestic violence. She was allegedly stabbed to death by her partner in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, around 4 a.m. Reportedly, Wilson wanted to end her relationship with her girlfriend and instead of walking away, her partner allegedly snapped and, according to detectives, stabbed Wilson to death down the street from her Sandtown Winchester home in the 1200 block of N. Stricker Street.
Wilson’s alleged killer is 26-year-old Lakeyria Doughty, known by so many in West Baltimore as the “Wheelie Queen.” She is being held, without bond, charged with first and second-degree murder.
The charismatic Doughty appears in the 2020 HBO critically acclaimed drama, “Charm City Kings,” which chronicles Baltimore’s underground dirt bike culture. It’s a culture that has garnered international appeal on the strength of the legendary “12 O’Clock Boys,” the urban daredevils who blaze through the city’s streets on dirt bikes; often chased by members of the Baltimore Police Department, for the thrill and the sport of it.
And Doughty, the Wheelie Queen is the only female member of the group.
But, I didn’t learn about Doughty because of her role in Charm City Kings. I first witnessed her attractive face, megawatt smile and extraordinary dirt bike skills in the 2013 award-winning documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, directed by Lofty Nathan.
The documentary, which I originally saw at the Brown Center during the 2013 Maryland Film Festival, focused on the life of Pug, a young boy (filmed over a three year period from age 13-16) who dreamed of one day joining the iconic 12 O’Clock Boys. The doc also featured urban dirt bike legend Wheelie Wayne and others. But, when Doughty had her time on the screen, her star burned bright.
I remember the scenes with her mother who beamed with pride as she doted over her teenage daughter.
I also remember the scenes when Doughty visited the grave of her father, who she said encouraged her to compete hard, which infused her with enough confidence to ride with as much skill and style as many of her older, biker brothers. In one scene a few young guys in the neighborhood announced Doughty’s arrival with great pride. “Wheelie Queen here! We got the Wheelie Queen here!” they gushed. She had achieved West Baltimore superstardom before she turned 20.
In a supplemental video posted on YouTube around the time of the 12 O’Clock Boys documentary, Doughty glided through the streets of the city popping a wheelie and riding it straight up in the 12 O’Clock position (hence the name) with ease and elan. “It’s all about control, balance and swag and I got all that,” she said.
“There’s only one of me, there can never be another one of me.”
With her appearance last year in Charm City Kings, Doughty seemed to have so much more life to live. But, so did her girlfriend Wilson. I just wish the Wheelie Queen had just walked away instead of letting her feelings get the best of her as the relationship between the two of them was coming to an end.
Tragically, it seems she didn’t and now a young woman is dead and another faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life, or a huge chunk of it locked away. And maybe never experiencing the exhilaration and freedom of riding at 12 o’clock ever again.
Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Senior Reporter and the author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great American Cities.