A 27-year-old man was convicted Friday in the 2017 shooting death of a Birmingham mother who was killed outside of her apartment while talking with a friend.
A Jefferson County jury found Quandarius Frazier guilty of murder in the July 30, 2017 slaying of Stephanie “Nikki” Loyde, 33. He was also convicted of attempted murder in the wounding of Luther Ikner. Police have also charged him with intimidating a witness, claiming he threatened Ikner about testifying against him.
“Today I feel so blessed because I have closure,’’ said Loyde’s mother, Priscilla Levins. “It’s been a long couple of years, but I just never gave up. I kept the faith."
Levins also lost her son – 29-year-old Kenneth Scott – to homicide. Scott was shot on a Saturday morning in December 2015 in Birmingham’s Tom Brown Village public housing community. A Trussville man charged with capital murder in Scott’s slaying took his own life last year just two months before he was to go to trial in the case.
Loyde’s sister, Tonisha Levins, said it’s been a tough couple of years for the family. “Our family and her (Stephanie’s) daughter have been through a lot with losing my brother and my sister,’’ she said. “We are finally happy to have some closure.”
Loyde was shot about at 9:30 p.m. that Sunday at Sunrise Pointe apartments off of Oporto-Madrid Boulevard. Officers responded to the complex on a report of someone possibly shot multiple times.
They arrived to find Loyde and Ikner both suffering from gunshot wounds. Ikner, shot in the face at the bottom of a stairwell, was taken to UAB Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Loyde was found in a nearby grassy area with a gunshot wound to the body. She was pronounced dead on the scene less than a half hour later.
Witnesses that night said Loyde and Ikner were at their cars talking when Frazier approached them and said, "There you are. I got you. " There was an exchange of words and at least two shots rang out.
Woman, 33, killed in Sunday-night Birmingham shooting identified
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Stephanie Loyde, who had a young teen daughter. Loyd’s brother was slain in Birmingham less than two years ago.
Levins said trial testimony indicated that Frazier and Ikner were acquaintances. There had been a previous incident between Frazier, a woman and Ikner. “Stephanie was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” her mother said.
Levins said she had just gotten into bed that Sunday night when she received a phone call from her sister, who never called that late, asking if she had talked to her daughter. Levins said she had spoken with Loyde just hours earlier, and that’s when Levins’ sister told her she had seen on Facebook that there was a shooting at Sunrise Poine and said she had not been able to get in touch with Loyde.
Levins threw on some clothes and rushed to the apartment complex, calling her daughter over and over along the way with no success. When she got there, she found yellow crime scene tape around her daughter’s first-floor apartment and a mosaic of blue flashing lights. She pleaded with police to let her go find her daughter and granddaughter, but they told her to stay where she was for the time being. Several police officers asked her for her daughter’s name and for a photo of Loyde and, eventually, a frantic Levins dashed under the police tape and followed officers to her daughter’s apartment.
The officer knocked on the door, and Levins heard her then -11-year-old granddaughter, Destiny, shout, "Mama, somebody’s at the door,” Levins said. "When I heard her say, ‘Mama,’ I was a little relieved."
Destiny opened the door and told police that her mother was in bed. The officer asked Destiny to take her to her mother’s bedroom, but it was then they found Loyde wasn’t there. "She must have got up and went out the door,” Destiny told her grandmother and the police.
6-year-old calls 911 to report mom’s death in northwest Jefferson County
Sheriff’s deputies responded about 3:30 a.m. to a home in the 7800 block of Robbins Circle in the northwest Jefferson County community of Bagley. Once on the scene, they found the woman dead. She is believed to be 32 years old.
Loyde worked as a certified nursing assistant until she had to go on disability for her rheumatoid arthritis. Destiny has previously said she was a devoted mother, who took her to school every day, went on every field trip and threw her great birthday parties at school with pizza and cake and bubbles. They often got their nails done together, and Loyde even took Destiny to a spa.
"I loved my mama so much,” Destiny said shortly after her mother’s death. "She did so much stuff for me. When she got some money, she’d go to Red Box to get me a movie. I loved her so much. I’m the only child she got, and I miss her so much. I pray for her, and I wish she was here."
Levins said her granddaughter is still in counseling over her mother’s death but is doing well. “When I woke her up this morning, she said, ‘We’re going to have something to celebrate today,’ and guess what? She was right,’’ Levins said. “Today is going to be a great day for her.”
Destiny wrote Frazier a letter this week that read, in part, “If you would have met my mother, you would have loved her because she was a friend to everybody.”
“That’s the kind of heart my granddaughter has instilled in her from her mother,’’ Levins said.
Sentencing for Frazier has been set for May 9 before Jefferson County Circuit Judge Clyde Jones. Frazier, who has been out on bond, was booked back into the Jefferson County Jail Friday and is now held without bond.
“It’s not a great day because Quandarius Frazer has three boys and they have to go on without their father for a while but a least they can visit him. We can’t visit Stephanie,’’ Levins said. “Both families are losing people they loved, but I’m happy my granddaughter doesn’t have to worry about it anymore.”