On tonight’s episode of Love After Lockup, Derek and several of his siblings visit their mother’s gravesite together for the first time.
“When I was 20 years old, my mother was murdered the night of her birthday, August 17, 2013,” Derek reveals to the camera during a confessional. “Leaving the night club, there was a shoot out. She got caught in the crossfire and got shot, and she — she was murdered. She ain’t make it.”
Derek also reveals that his arrest and prison stint made the tragic event even more difficult to process. “It happened right before I got locked up, and I didn’t really have time to grieve,” Derek says.
More from Derek on the passing of his mother:
I wanted my mother to see me have my first child, to be there at my wedding. I had so much I wanted to do and share experiences — memories I wanted to make with my mother and now I can’t. That’s hard on me. It’s heavy on my soul.
…I know you love me. We didn’t say it a lot, didn’t say it often, but I know you love me. I love you too, ma.
Derek’s mother’s murder was on The First 48
If the story of Derek’s mother’s murder sounds familiar, it might be because it was featured on The First 48 in a 2014 episode titled “Killer Connection; Bloody Birthday.” (There are some inconsistencies identifying the episode on different streaming platforms, but is most often referenced as Season 15, Episode 8.)
The episode features very graphic footage from the murder scene, as well as surveillance video footage of the actual shooting. Soon after police arrived on the scene, Crystal Monique Pinkins’ eldest son arrived and broke down as he spoke with police. The son is not identified, and his face is blurred.
Based on what is revealed during The First 48 episode, the shooting was a little different than how Derek described it.
Crystal had just finished celebrating her 41st birthday at a club. She got into a silver Mercedes SUV that she had just purchased as a birthday present to herself. A male friend was driving, perhaps as a designated driver, when the the car stopped in front of the club so Crystal could pour out a drink.
Crystal opened her door near a parked vehicle. A man near the vehicle perceived the door opening as some sort of aggressive and/or disrespectful action and he kicked the door shut. At some point he removed a firearm from under the hood of his vehicle and he fired at least three shots at Crystal’s car as it slowly pulled away.
Crystal’s male friend drove her approximately a mile and pulled into a parking lot where he called police. Crystal died from the gunshot wound.
Here is a VERY graphic video of an unaired scene from The First 48 in which investigators search for a stray bullet in Crystal’s vehicle:
The surveillance camera video of the shooting was low quality, but police were able to get a color, make and model of the parked car. They were also able to get vague descriptions of the shooter and another man on the scene who got into an altercation after the shooting.
Hours later, the lead detective got a call that police had pulled over a vehicle of the same color, make and model with two occupants that matched the description of the assailants in the video.
During the initial interrogation with the detective, Drayshon Congress admitted to being the shooter in the video and also admitted to taking one shot at the car. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
DRAYSHON: I wasn’t trying to shoot nobody just to kill nobody.
DETECTIVE: So why did you shoot the car when they pulled off?
DRAYSHON: I don’t even know. I couldn’t even tell you.
DETECTIVE: You’re telling me you didn’t even know those people in the car.
DRAYSHON: Right. But they pulled up swinging they door out.
The interrogation pretty much closed the case less than ten hours after the shooting. Drayshon Congress pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison. His accomplice, Terrance Byrd, pleaded guilty to felonious assault and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Derek’s family on The First 48
At the end of the episode, Crystal’s friends and family gathered to remember her months after her death. Most of Crystal’s six children were present, but Derek was not shown.
Derek stated on Love After Lockup that Crystal’s murder “happened right before I got locked up,” so perhaps he was incarcerated at the time of the memorial? If that is Derek’s face that is blurred out in video footage shot at the crime scene, it would make sense if producers knew he was later sentenced to prison on felony drug charges. Or perhaps Crystal’s oldest son simply didn’t give producers permission.
There were several family members at the memorial that have appeared alongside Derek on the current season of Love After Lockup, including the scene in which the siblings visit Crystal’s gravesite. Below you can see Donnell and Aubryanna:
According to Ohio Department of Correction records, Terrance Byrd is still incarcerated with an “Expected Release Date/Parole Eligibility Date” of August 25, 2027. Crystal’s murderer, Drayshon Congress, has an “Expected Release Date/Parole Eligibility Date” of August 15, 2031.