Greene slaying: One victim was attacker turned artist

One of the victims in the May 3 triple-slaying in Greene County was 25-year-old Charlottesville resident Dustin Tyler Knighton, a man who appears to be a self-taught artist who wrote frankly about life and art during a five-year prison stint.

"Sometimes I think to myself, I had to go to prison to find out that I could draw," Knighton wrote on his biography at

The other victims were 26-year-old Brian Robert Lee Daniels of Charlottesville man and 26-year-old Lisa Hwang, no address given. On May 6, suspect Taybronne Altereik White taken into custody charged with various offenses stemming from an allegedly related home invasion.

City court records indicated that Knighton's criminal career began when the then 18-year-old was arrested for an alleged strong-arm robbery of the wallet and watch of a man named Adam Vineyard on June 14, 2003. Then, just five days later, Knighton allegedly stole a 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass from Belen Martinez. He pleaded to reduced charges of grand larcency and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

But then came September 21, 2003, when Knighton allegedly participated in "assault and battery by mob." The highly-publicized battery on two UVA students near the corner of 17th Street and Gordon Avenue caused bloggers to go wild with accusations that the attackers chose victims with white or Asian ethnicity. Although he appeared immersed in hip-hop culture, was reportedly a member of the "D-Block" gang, and, according to his court file, used an alias of "John Carr," Knighton– arrested at the corner of 5th and Dice Streets– appeared to be white.

Albemarle County court records also show that Knighton was found guilty of the felony of accessory to malicious wounding. On December 23, 2008, he was released on supervised probation and reported that he'd gotten some work doing boat detailing at Lake Anna as well as some day work via the West Main Street office of the Labor Ready temporary service. Yet he failed to make any victim restitution payments or cover his fines and court costs.

Another strike against Knighton came in the summer of 2009, when he allegedly violated his probation  by getting pulled over for suspected driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license. Although he reported the infractions to his parole officer the next day, he was back in jail. It wasn't the first time he allegedly misbehaved at an inopportune time. A court report says he violated bond term back in 2004 with a DUI, reckless driving, and two counts of forging public documents.

Nonetheless, Knighton appeared to be a talented artist at the time of his death– after a fellow prisoner pointed him to a drawing book in the prison library.

"So I went to the library and found the book and checked it out," Knighton later wrote. "I read the book, did the exercises in the book, then took flight."

His artistry includes a reflection-laden tiger drawing made with a $2 box of colored pencils and a sheet of computer paper, while a drawing featuring hip-hop artists Russell Simmions, Ghost Face, and Nas reportedly won a McGuffey Art Center contest while Knighton was jailed.

"Now, I'm living a better life and I am just drawing because I love to draw," wrote Knighton, who also sketched his two youthful step-daughters. "I want to see how far I can go or what I can do with my talent."

–this story is a print rewrite of various breaking news posts uploaded at various times beginning at 8:40am on May 4

Read more on: dustin tyler knighton


Did he spend time in prison for assaulting UVa students?

Charged with malicious wounding; convicted of 18.2-51 ("shooting, stabbing, etc., with intent to maim, kill)

Offense date was 02/08/04. And then a more recent (2010) probation violation.

Two Charlottesville residents have been arrested and charged with mob assault, active participation in a criminal street gang, and recruitment of a juvenile to join a street gang, following an attack on two UVa students two weeks ago. According to Chief Longon, 27-year-old Paul Jones and the 17-year-old selected their victims at random, an assertion that runs contrary to initial reports. A third suspect is wanted, 18-year-old Dustin Knighton. Each have been identified as members of the “D-Block” gang. Reed Williams had the story in today’s Progress.

Both of the id'd dead were friends on Facebook. The girl victim will be one as well. Highly likely the murderer is in their group. Looking thru some of the public profiles of their friends the police will have more than a couple to interview.



Well, he was definitely a talented artist. My artistic renderings are about on par with an eight year old. Most people can't draw the way he did. It's too bad. Seems like he had a wayward youth, probably due to the homelife. If only his talent and energies could have been channeled into positive pursuits early on. (same goes for all wayward youths who come from dysfunctional families and fall through the cracks. If somebody had been there to steer them on a better path and catch them when they're falling early on....)

That link to WTJU is shite, it doesn't work.

Don't know about the woman, but the two guys do sound like people who dedicated their lives to "having it coming". Another misdemeanor murder goes down and a couple wannabe gangbangers get their just desserts. Reminds me of Spike Lee's ghetto movie: "Clockers" where the cop played by Harvey Keitel said of another murder that "this neighborhood's like a self cleaning oven". I'm aware this sounds callous, but: "Live by the sword, die by the sword" and it appears choices were made that led them to their destiny.

I am just shocked at evrything that has happened. 3 young souls lost for nothin, may they all RIP and to all you people out there that are slandering these young mens names, should be ashamed of yourselves!! No matter what they done in their past the point is they lost their lives and NO one has the right to take a life no matter what. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims!!

So how were they as students? School life it totally different from personal life. I don't condone killing, but I do teach my kids, that if you are minding your business and someone comes to bother you, handle it. This situation got handled. They were not going door to door spreading the word of GOD, they were on a mission. Running in that shack waving guns in peoples faces, then running off? Who does that? Like I said, if you are going to do the dirt at least go in with your balls in between your legs and not in your pocket.
Can't play with fire! You might get burned. I feel for the children, and Lisa, but the other two......tsk tsk. It was bound to happen. No one deserves to be at home where they feel safe, just to have someone with guns barge in demanding what they don't have. How fair was that? If you want sympathy for them, fine, but have sympathy for all the victims. Including the people that these two have robbed in the past and left naked. Feel sorry for them too, because if they would have died, would you still be saying "they made some mistakes but they are still good people." Probably not. I assume it would be MUMS the word. Carry on!

"3 young souls lost for nothin"
****Who initiatied the robbery? 2 of the 3 young souls lost. They lost their lives as a result of threatening to take someone elses life.

"No matter what they done in their past the point is they lost their lives and NO one has the right to take a life no matter what."
****No matter how light your pockets are, no one has the right to barge in while someone is watching Good Times, with shotguns, demanding goods, then run off, and think that that's all that will come of that.

Hook Editors: I'm extremely disappointed in your coverage of this story. I live not too far from where that car was found and nobody is offering any information on where the suspect might be. You've had the same 2 grafs up for the last 2 days. Even the DP is doing a better job than you on this. Could you at least call the police spokesperson for an update? What does our community do when there's a lack of information or investigative reporting? We're so disappointed in you. I'm starting to think you discriminate against stories about violent crimes or stories that happen in Albemarle County (also known as Not Cville). Seriously, what is up?

@ Sam

If you think that The Hook has something against stories about violent crime and/or ones that take place outside of Cville then you obviously haven't really been reading The Hook for any amount of time. If there's one thing The Hook is good at it's covering salacious murder stories.

- Justine Abshire
- Morgan Harrington
- The Blue Ridge Parkway shootings
- UVA rape victims
- The Morris-Shifflett murder case
- Jayne McGowan
- The 30+ year old Staunton double homicide of Connie and Carolyn Henever
- Darrell David Rice, suspect in the 29 Stalker case, suspect in the double homicide of Lollie Winans and Julie Williams in Shenandoah Forest, who also unsuccessfully tried to abduct a bicyclist in Shenandoah Forest
- Katie Worsky, the 8 year old who disappeared/was murdered back in 1982

.....and the list goes on and on. I know I'm forgetting many other stories the Hook has covered in-depth.

If the cops screw up the investigation, the Hook will be ALL over it. That's why you see little coverage now.

I am a family member of Lisa and I can't believe that the police have not yet charged anyone with these murders. What the hell is taking so long it's been amonth now and we don't know anything other than what was reported.For all you commenters that didn't know Lisa she was a good,kind person and a wonderful mother.Don't speculate on what you don't know anything about.This whole thing has been hard on her 3 small children and they deserve to know why their mother was killed and who the hell did it? So cops get off your asses and do something.