Jealousy Sparked Polyamorous Couple to Torture Harlem Mom, Court Docs Show
QUEENS — A Harlem mom of three kidnapped and beaten to death by a husband and wife with whom she had a polyamorous relationship sparked the attack by crossing the "boundaries" of their arrangement and then trying to leave, the wife confessed in court documents.
Devonnee Wilkerson, 32, told investigators she was "furious" at Sheryl Outerbridge, 38, for borrowing her pet name for her husband and tattooing it onto her body as well as for calling Devonnee's husband "Daddy," according to documents from the Queens District Attorney's office.
"My husband, Sheryl and I were in a polyamorous relationship, but there are boundaries not to cross," Wilkerson allegedly told investigators after her arrest last week.
Malik Wilkerson, 33, and wife Devonnee allegedly kidnapped Outerbridge Dec. 2, brought her back to their apartment, and beat and tortured her, finally bringing her to the hospital with wounds so severe police initially believed them when they lied and claimed she had been shot, authorities said.
Devonnee Wilkerson said she was angered Outerbridge stole "Bish Baby," her own pet name for Malik Wilkerson, for a tattoo she reportedly got for her birthday in October.
"She had a tatoo of Malik's nickname," she said. "I am Malik's wife and that kind of tattoo is reserved for me."
The polyamorous wife was also "furious" that Outerbridge, who lived with the couple for weeks at a time at their South Jamaica home, called her husband "Daddy," according to the statements.
"I snapped again, that was another boundry not to cross," Wilkerson told the investigators, according to the papers.
Wilkerson said she feared, "Malik has fallen in love with Sheryl."
Outerbridge, who was buried in New Jersey on Wednesday, left the couple’s apartment around 7 p.m. Dec. 2, saying that she was going to the store, according to the statements.
Wilkerson allegedly told the police that she and her husband began calling her and that when Outerbridge picked up, they heard voices of four men in the background, sparking their suspicions that she had become romantically involved with other people.
The couple started driving around looking for Outerbridge and found her at the Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue subway station "hanging off the escalator." Devonnee Wilkerson forced Outerbridge into the car and the couple brought her back to their apartment around 2 a.m., according to Devonnee Wilkerson's statement.
Wilkerson, who said her nickname was "Phoenix," told the police that she and her husband, whose nickname was "Bishop," questioned Outerbridge about her night's activities — to no avail.
She said they started pummeling Outerbridge in the head and body with their fists and a paint roller extension while grilling her about what happened that night for between a half hour and an hour.
Devonnee Wilkerson also smashed a glass bottle on her forehead, burned her with a cigarette and then "threw a cup of cold water on her to startle her," Wilkerson told the police.
During the beating she "vented" about the tattoo and Outerbridge's affections for her husband, she said.
The next morning, Devonnee Wilkerson left for work at about 8:30 a.m. She said that before leaving, she checked on Outerbridge who, according to Wilkerson's statements, "was responsive but not making sense." She also said that the Harlem woman "had blood in her nose and mouth,"
Wilkerson told the police that her husband called her about 9 a.m. and told her that Outerbridge "doesn't look good." When she returned home, the couple and Devonnee Wilkerson's brother, who was also at home, but did not participate in the beating, took Outerbridge to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
The men left after dropping Outerbridge at the hospital, while Devonnee Wilkerson stayed. She initially lied to police, claiming they found Outerbridge with a gunshot wound to her head in the street on Sutphin Boulevard, they said.
Outerbridge's sister, Crystal Outerbridge, 44, said she was devastated by the death.
Crystal Outerbridge said her sister "wanted to believe that [Malik Wilkerson] was going to take care of her. The fantasy cost her her life. She couldn’t see behind the mask."
Crystal Outerbridge said that their mother also had been in an abusive relationship with a man who introduced her to illegal drugs. “I’ve seen my own mom suffer through domestic abuse,” she said.
Devonnee Wilkerson is being held without bail on charges of kidnapping resulting in a death and assault with the intent of causing physical injury with a weapon, according to court documents. She is due in court Dec. 19.
Malik Wilkerson was arrested in Pittsburgh around 8 a.m. on Dec. 7 and was awaiting extradition to New York. He had not yet been formally charged.