Hey, y’all. Thanks for stopping by. Today I have the horrific story of the murder of Sherrice Iverson. The bright and bubbly seven-year-old Sherrice had her life heartbreakingly taken away from her on May 25, 1997, in a lonely bathroom at the Primadonna Casino, in Primm, Nevada, by Jeremy Strohmeyer and his accomplice David Cash. Sherrice, full of life and joy, had so much ahead of her, but sadly, that all ended way too soon.
- The Victim-Sherrice Iverson
- The Perpetrators-Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash
- The Fateful Night
- The Murder
- The Investigation
- The Trial of Jeremy Strohmeyer
- The Aftermath
- The Legacy of Sherrice
The Victim-Sherrice Iverson
Sherrice Iverson, a lively seven-year-old, lived with her father, Leroy Iverson, a retired tour bus driver battling various health ailments in Los Angeles, California. Struggling with conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, and diabetes, his physical frailties required him to take regular medication and use a walking cane.
His rural Louisiana upbringing stood in stark contrast to the risk-filled environment around their apartment, leading him to restrict Sherrice’s outdoor playtime.
Sherrice’s mother, Yolanda Renee Manuel, wasn’t around much. After a recent spat with Leroy, she had moved in with her sister. Yolanda had been in a relationship with Leroy since she was a teenager. The three-decade age gap between them initially ignited their romance, but eventually, it chipped away at their bond. Their life together had all the characteristics of a fractured relationship, with separate sleeping quarters and their food kept in separate fridges.
Leroy, despite his shortcomings, cherished Sherrice. Every day, he would drop her off at school and ensure he was there early for her pickup, a gesture unique among the parents at 75th Street Elementary School.
Sherrice was loved by her teachers, who saw her as a trusting, affectionate child. She had neat, braided hair, clean, well-ironed clothes, and a vivid imagination that envisioned herself as a nurse, policewoman, dancer, or model in the future.
The death of three of Leroy’s children under different circumstances added to his overprotective nature. His household had been visited by county social workers 58 times within a span of 10 months after his son Jonathan’s death. Yet, allegations of abuse were never proven, and Leroy continued to strive to keep his family together.
Family outings were sacred to them, with Leroy preferring to bring Sherrice and her brother Harold along for his gambling trips across the Nevada border. One such trip to the Primadonna Casino, an elegant Victorian-style establishment, took place over the Memorial Day weekend.
The Perpetrators-Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash
David Cash, Jr.
David Cash, Jr., was in his final year of high school, brimming with aspirations of becoming a nuclear engineer. His peers had mixed feelings about him. To many of Jeremy’s friends, David was nothing more than an arrogant geek. He was someone they didn’t fully understand, often coming across as too proud and too engrossed in his academic pursuits. However, David’s relationship with Jeremy was completely different.
For Jeremy, David was more than just an acquaintance. He was the ideal companion, someone he could count on. David admired Jeremy, held him in high regard, and always supported him. He found Jeremy’s humor captivating and always laughed at his jokes. But most importantly, David never judged Jeremy.
Jeremy had a soft spot for a girl named Agnes, and it was a crush that he didn’t always find easy to deal with. Yet, David never ridiculed him for it. He never belittled Jeremy’s feelings, instead offering a safe space for his friend to be himself without any fear of judgment or mockery.
To top it all off, David had something that made him an even more attractive friend in Jeremy’s eyes: access to his mother’s sleek, red 1988 convertible. There was something enticing about that car. It was more than just a vehicle; it represented freedom, adventure, and a ticket to unforgettable teenage memories. And David, the proud ‘arrogant nerd’, was the key to that fantastic ride. It wasn’t just David’s character that drew Jeremy to him, but also the opportunities that their friendship brought along.
Jeremy Strohmeyer’s background was as normal as you’d expect for a teenager. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Jeremy was adopted by a loving family when he was just a baby. His adoptive father worked as a contractor, and his mother was a teacher, and together, they gave Jeremy a stable, middle-class upbringing.
Jeremy’s biological parents had lives that were entwined with personal hardships. His birth mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was being cared for in a mental health facility.
On the other hand, Jeremy’s biological father was serving time in prison. Jeremy’s early life was, in a way, shaped by these circumstances, even if he didn’t grow up with his biological parents. He was brought up in a completely different environment, away from the complexities and hardships of his birth parents’ lives.
Jeremy was a smart kid, excelling in school and showing a knack for mathematics. He loved playing video games and hanging out with his buddies at the local arcade. Jeremy had a particular buddy, David Cash, who he’d met in middle school. The two quickly became best friends, hanging out regularly, attending school together, and engaging in all kinds of teenage fun.
As Jeremy entered high school, he started showing some alarming behavior. He was caught vandalizing school property, and his grades began to slip. He was getting into fights at school and acting rebelliously at home. His relationship with his parents became strained, and tensions were high.
He also started dabbling in drugs, a dangerous avenue that saw him veering off the path of typical adolescent rebellion and into riskier territory. His drug use fuelled erratic and unpredictable behavior, causing his school performance to decline and leading to confrontations both at home and in public.
On top of using drugs, Jeremy was also fascinated by child sexual abuse images, visiting disturbing websites and downloading more than 800 CSA images to his computer.
These were not just occasional episodes, but rather, an alarming pattern that escalated over time. His behavior was worrisome, to say the least, and it highlighted a drastic change in Jeremy from the smart, math-loving kid he once was to a troubled young man spiraling out of control.
Despite these issues, Jeremy’s parents continued to support him. They got him counseling and tried to keep him on the right track. But Jeremy was spiraling, making bad choices and hanging out with the wrong crowd. It seemed like a typical case of teenage rebellion, but sadly, it would escalate to something far more sinister.
By the time Jeremy was 18, he was completely out of control. He had developed a dangerous and reckless attitude, coupled with a complete disregard for the consequences of his actions. His life was about to take a dark turn, one that would have tragic consequences for a bright and innocent young girl named Sherrice Iverson.
The Fateful Night
On May 25, 1997, Sherrice, accompanied by her family, arrived at the Primadonna casino for an enjoyable evening. Little did anyone know, it would be the last time they would see her vibrant smile and hear her infectious laughter.
With its well-tended courtyards, the casino offered a safe environment where Leroy could let his guard down. On their arrival at midnight, Sherrice’s older brother Harold was given the responsibility of looking after Sherrice while Leroy headed to the slot machines.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash were getting bored while waiting on David’s dad at the Primadonna. Bored out of their minds, the two teens decided to take things to the extreme. They chose to vent their juvenile frustrations on a pair of unsuspecting coin-operated arcade games by urinating on them.
David set his sights on ‘Big Bertha’, a popular game where players toss balls into a large, red-mouthed, polka-dot dress-wearing character. As for Jeremy, he opted for a helicopter-themed game, perhaps a testament to his boyish tastes. However, his immaturity didn’t end there. He took it up a notch by targeting an innocent wall socket.
As teenage rebellion set in, their crude actions prompted a wave of laughter between the two. Their carefree laughs filled the air, a stark contrast to the distressing events that were yet to unfold.
While Sherrice’s family was engrossed in the casino’s attractions, the two teenage boys spotted her playing in the game arcade, unsupervised. A series of events unfolded that led to the tragic culmination of the evening.
Just a little distance away, Sherrice Iverson was engaged in a friendly paper wad fight with a little boy. Noticing the fun, Jeremy joined in, tossing a crumpled paper at Sherrice. The playful gesture ignited a chase, with Sherrice running off in her blue sailor dress and black cowboy boots.
For almost 11 minutes, a game of tag ensued. They weaved through the arcade, up and down the aisles, amidst the noise of video games mimicking cosmic battles, speeding cars, and heroic face-offs.
It was a peculiar sight – a tall, blond, upper-class teenager from Long Beach playing with a petite black girl from South Central, whose father lived on disability benefits. Sherrice, who barely tipped the scale at 46 pounds and stood just shy of 4 feet, was dwarfed by Jeremy, almost 2 feet taller and heavier by a hundred pounds.
When the clock hit 3:47 a.m., Sherrice made a quick dash into the ladies’ restroom. Meanwhile, her 14-year-old half-brother Harold was caught in a conversation with a teenage girl. Jeremy took a pause at the water fountain, took a gulp of water, drew a deep puff from his cigarette, and decided to follow the little girl into the restroom.
Inside the restroom, the game continued with Sherrice and Jeremy throwing wads of wet paper at each other. Then, Sherrice playfully threw a yellow plastic “Wet Floor” sign at Jeremy. It was at this moment that Jeremy’s friend, David, walked into the restroom.
David caught sight of a terrifying scene. Jeremy was forcefully pulling Sherrice into one of the stalls. From the neighboring stall, David could see Jeremy restraining Sherrice, one hand covering her mouth while molesting Sherrice with his other hand. After witnessing such a dreadful act, David exited the restroom.
Did David immediately tell someone what was happening or try to stop Jeremy? You would think so, but no, he didn’t. Instead, he left the restroom and the arcade to sit on a bench outside.
Jeremy was jolted by the sound of the restroom door opening. He quickly sat on Sherrice’s stomach, arranging her legs behind his own, to make it appear to anyone peeking in that he was just using the restroom.
As he did this, he felt Sherrice struggling for breath underneath him, and quickly placed his hand over her mouth. Peering through the door crack, he saw two women.
After the women left, Jeremy turned his attention back to Sherrice. He noticed her breathing was strained and uneven. He assumed she was brain-dead. In his mind, he thought it would be worse to let her live in a vegetative state for the rest of her life.
Taking a cue from what he’d seen in films, he used both hands to twist her head. Still, Sherrice seemed to be breathing. So, he twisted harder.
He took Sherrice’s boots, pants, and underwear, and put them into the toilet bowl. He then lifted her, placing her legs inside the toilet. Her arms were folded over her legs in a grotesque imitation of a resting position.
It was 20 minutes later that Jeremy emerged from the restroom, catching up with David. Jeremy then dropped a shocking confession on David – he had killed Sherrice. The lighthearted atmosphere that previously surrounded the two friends was instantly shattered.
Around 5:30 the next morning, Sherrice’s body was found in the casino’s arcade bathroom. She was sitting on the toilet with her feet in the bowl, her clothes had been removed, and her neck was broken. Sherrice’s dad and a security guard tried to bring her back to life, but sadly, she was already gone.
When the horrific details of Sherrice Iverson’s murder came to light, a chilling manhunt kicked off. The Las Vegas police, desperate to solve the case, released the security tape footage from the casino to the public. The videos were all over the news, and two of Jeremy Strohmeyer’s classmates from Long Beach recognized him.
Jeremy Strohmeyer was arrested three days after the incident at his home. The charges against him were severe – first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and sexual assault of a minor. It was a brutal crime, and the police were determined to make him face the consequences.
During the questioning, Jeremy confessed that he had molested Iverson and strangled her to quiet her screams. The police claimed that he waived his right to have a lawyer present during this process. Later, his lawyers tried to get this confession thrown out, arguing that he didn’t have legal counsel, but the police maintained that he had willingly given up that right.
In the meantime, public outrage grew over the fact that David Cash, Jeremy’s friend who had witnessed the initial assault, did nothing to stop it and didn’t report it. The police questioned him too, but he was not charged as there was no law obligating him to intervene or report the crime.
The Trial of Jeremy Strohmeyer
Jeremy’s lawyer was Leslie Abramson who was no ordinary lawyer. She had a reputation for taking on some really high-profile cases, like defending the Menendez brothers. When it came to Jeremy’s defense, she went with the claim that he was so out of it on booze and drugs that night that he couldn’t remember a thing.
Leslie even suggested that maybe it was David, Jeremy’s friend, who was the real criminal. After all, it was David who told Jeremy what he supposedly did in the bathroom that night. Leslie also pointed out that Jeremy didn’t exactly come from a stable background – his biological dad was in prison, and his mom was in a mental hospital.
The trial was set to start in September 1998, and Jeremy was facing the possibility of a death sentence. But just as the trial was about to kick off, Leslie struck a plea deal for Jeremy. On September 8, 1998, he pleaded guilty to four charges: first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, sexual assault on a minor with substantial bodily harm, and sexual assault on a minor.
A month later, on October 14, 1998, Jeremy was handed down his sentence: four life terms, one for each crime he admitted to. The judge ordered the sentences to be served one after the other, with no chance of getting out early.
Jeremy’s Adoptive Parents Lawsuit
In October 1999, Jeremy’s adoptive parents decided to take legal action against LA County and its adoption workers. They were pretty mad and believed they were owed $1 million. Why? They felt they were duped into adopting Jeremy as a baby. The Strohmeyers said the social workers didn’t tell them everything about Jeremy’s biological mom.
They didn’t know that she had serious mental health issues, including chronic schizophrenia. They also learned that she had been hospitalized over 60 times before Jeremy was born. Despite all this, the Strohmeyers stuck by Jeremy, supporting him through thick and thin.
Their lawsuit, however, didn’t really go anywhere. By 2002, the court decided it was too late for the Strohmeyers to sue – the statute of limitations had passed The Strohmeyers tried to fight back and appeal, but the court held its ground. The lawsuit was ultimately tossed out, and their appeal was denied.
Outrage over David Cash
After Jeremy’s arrest, David was interviewed by the LA Times. He seemed nonchalant about the whole ordeal. He admitted to focusing on himself first and foremost. He even mentioned that the notoriety he got from the case was making him popular with women. David also talked about using this incident to his advantage in other interviews
David’s lack of empathy and perceived opportunism didn’t sit well with the public. He earned himself the nickname “the bad Samaritan.” A group of students at UC Berkeley tried to have him expelled because of his inaction during the crime.
Two radio hosts in LA even held a rally, aiming to get David kicked out of the university. But the university refused to expel him as he had not been legally convicted of any crime.
In a radio interview, David expressed some regret about Sherrice’s tragic fate. He expressed sympathy for the Iverson family but maintained that he didn’t personally know Sherrice.
He compared her to unknown individuals dying in distant places like Panama or Africa. David insisted that Jeremy was the only person he knew in this situation and still held on to the assertion that he did not do anything wrong.
The Sherrice Iverson Bill
The tragic death of Sherrice Iverson spurred significant legal changes in Nevada and California. The case laid bare a troubling gap in the law, leading to the creation of the Nevada State Assembly Bill 267. This legislation, propelled by the shocking inaction of David Cash during the crime, made it mandatory for people to report any reasonable suspicions of a child under 18 being sexually abused or violently treated.
This bill, known as the “Sherrice Iverson” bill, was championed by Richard Perkins, the Nevada State Assembly Majority Leader at the time. The bill threatened fines and even possible jail time for anyone failing to report a crime of this nature. This important piece of legislation was eventually passed in the year 2000.
In addition, Sherrice’s murder also inspired changes in California’s laws. The Sherrice Iverson Child Victim Protection Act, also known as California Assembly Bill 1422, was enacted, introducing section 152.3 to California’s Penal Code. This new “duty to rescue” law mandates people to notify law enforcement if they witness a murder, rape, or any lewd or lascivious act, specifically when the victim is under 14 years old. These legislative responses highlight the lasting impact of Sherrice’s case, changing the way we perceive and handle such horrendous crimes.
The Legacy of Sherrice
Sherrice’s story, though incredibly heartbreaking, has left a lasting impact on those who knew her and even those who didn’t. Her tragic passing serves as a stark wake-up call reminding us all to keep a close eye on the young and vulnerable around us.
Since her death, numerous advocacy groups have stepped up to turn the heartache and outrage surrounding Sherrice’s case into something more meaningful. Their goal is to raise awareness about the importance of child safety and the role we all play in looking out for one another.
Sherrice’s story has driven home the importance of being aware of the safety of kids, especially in crowded public places. It’s a call to action for parents, caregivers, and all of us in the community to be on our guard and to step up in protecting our kids.
The aftermath of Sherrice’s death also brought to light the crucial need for robust support systems for the families left behind. When a tragedy like this strikes, they need all the help they can get – counseling to help cope with the loss, legal assistance to navigate the complexities of the justice system, and a supportive community to lean on during the darkest times. The aim is to ensure that while they grieve, they’re not alone.