Tamena Strickland pleads not guilty to 14 charges


She is set to appear in court on Tuesday morning

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The sister indicted in the death of a two-sport athlete at Portland State University pleaded not guilty on Tuesday morning.

Tamena Strickland was indicted for her brother’s death by a grand jury on Monday. Deante Strickland, 22, was fatally shot on Aug. 2.

Deante Strickland was on both the basketball and football teams at Portland State.

Tamena Strickland is charged with one count of murder with a firearm, two counts of attempted murder with a firearm, one count of assault in the first degree with a firearm, one count of assault in the second degree with a firearm, three counts of unlawful use of a weapon and six counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Tamena Strickland appeared in Multnomah County Court on August 5, 2019. (KOIN)

In her brief court appearance on Tuesday, she appeared to be wiping tears from her eyes before putting in her not guilty plea.

Tamena turns 31 next week and will likely be spending her birthday behind bars.

Several members of the Strickland family were present at the court appearance but declined to speak publicly. Tamena’s attorney said the death of Deante is a loss for the entire family — including Tamena.

PSU basketball star Deante Strickland was shot and killed in NE Portland, Aug. 2, 2019. (Portland State University)

“At this point, the thing for me is you have a family — you saw a courtroom full of supportive family — supportive of both Tamena and Deante,” said the attorney, Robert Crow.

Crow told KOIN that Tamena and Deante were “tight,” or at least close friends. Tamena has 2 young children that are away from her.

She remains in jail after her plea.

A celebration of life for Deante will take place on Wednesday at the Viking Pavilion on the Portland State campus. It will begin at 1 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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