A new father

Tiffany Bassett, 26, and her mother called 911 early Tuesday morning, reportedly about 10 am. The told the dispatcher that they had taken their car for repairs. And that when they left Bassett’s boyfriend was in bed. When they returned, they found the back door open, and Donald “Keith” West, 39, shot to death in the bed. The mother who spoke to dispatchers described him as feeling “cold”. They stated that when they left the back door was closed, but when they returned, the back door was open.

Police are still investigating the death. But after several interviews with Bassett and others, and after the autopsy report, they have arrested the girlfriend, Tiffany Bassett for the murder. Police have not given a motive for the crime, what weapon was used, and have not disclosed what evidence leads them to the arrest.

West was a former police officer, who left police work in 2001 to start his own security company. The couple were parents of a baby daughter. The couple’s home was in foreclosure and due to be auctioned on Tuesday, at about the same time as the call to 911 was received.

Tiffany Bassett had been previously arrested in Feburary. Allegedly she had confessed to 13 counts of forging prescriptions to obtain drugs from several local pharmacies. There is a notation that she agreed to enroll in drug rehabilitation, but no other dispostion noted.

Bassett is being held without bond on a charge of 1 st degree premeditated murder. Bassett’s mother filed for custody of the couple’s daughter the same day as the murder. Even before Bassett’s arrest. She was given custody. The order claimed there was a substantial risk of injury to the child.                                                                                                                                                    

http://www.wral.com/news/9549179/detail.html

http://www.wral.com/news/9557981/detail.html

http://www.wral.com/news/9543937/detail.html

A fairly new business, a young baby, foreclosure on their home, a possible drug problem and the resultant legal trouble. There were a lot of stressors on this couple. Each problem alone would be a lot of stress, but combined they would each cause the others to seem worse. And that much stress in a relationship often leads to some pretty acrimonious arguments between a couple.

I have read that the baby is 9 months old. That would mean the baby would only have been about 4 months old when Bassett was arrested for the forging perscription charge. Then on the same day of the murder, her mother goes to court to file for custody of the baby stating a substantial risk of injury to the baby. If I were a curious person, I guess I would wonder if Bassett had shown any signs of depression and/or erratic behavior between the baby’s birth and the murder. If so, little things that may have been said or hinted at will be coming back to haunt the family now. They may not have seemed to have much importance at the time, other than seeming odd. But things often seem clearer when looking back than they did at the time they happened.

Another child growing up with the loss of one parent at the hands of the other. She still has loving family, but someday she will have to learn what happened with her parents. Two more families suffering. One the loss of their loved one, and one the shock over finding out the person they knew might not have behaved in a way they would have thought.

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3 Comments

  1. Anna Johnson said,

    October 10, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    My fiancee and I worked for Keith. My fiancee and I spent time on the weekends with Keith and Tiffany. I adore their baby, who just turned 1 last week. Their baby now resides 4 days with Tiffany’s mom and 4 days with Keith’s sister. The custody has not been an ugly issue yet. Tiffany remains in jail now, but on a $5 million bond. Although I was not surprised by the arrest, I still wonder how someone who just two years ago seemed to have such a good head on her shoulders could honestly think that this was the only way out. I know Keith well, and as much of a pain as he could be at times, I know without a shadow of doubt that he would never force Tiffany into a position to feel like she had to do this, out of self-defense or otherwise. They were definitely unhappy together, but were trying to work things out for the sake of the beautiful young baby they shared, but I had heard Keith tell her she could leave whenever she wanted, and Tiffany had conveyed to me that he had told her that as well. She even once asked if we could help her to move out as she was looking an apartment. I regulary cared for their baby both during work hours and afterwards for Tiffany to attend doctor appointments or so she can rest. She was so tired in those weeks leading up to this event. I just hate this situation for Lily (their baby), Keith’s family, and the employees of West-Tek who lost their boss, their job and their earned wages in the wake of this terrible event.

  2. Rhonda said,

    November 15, 2006 at 12:15 am

    Tiffanys mother was not given soul custody. The courts granted an intervention by Keiths sister and her husband. Custody of the baby is shared on an equal basis by Tiffanys mother and step-father and Keiths oldest sister and her husband, this is a known fact, i am close to the situation.

  3. November 15, 2006 at 2:49 am

    Rhonda, thank you for the additional information. It is good to know the baby will have an opportunity to know all of it’s family. No child can have too much love.


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