Death by Fame: Who was Tara Correa-McMullen?

Hollywood stories often take unexpected turns, revealing the ugly truths of stardom. A terrible act of violence ended the career of rising sensation Tara Correa-McMullen. Investigation Discovery‘s Death by Fame telecast “A Rising Star Shot Down” about her tragic life and death.  As we explore Tara Correa-McMullen’s life, we discover early success, bad choices, and a fate that changed everything.

Who was Tara Correa-McMullen?

Tara Correa-McMullen, born May 24, 1989, in Westminster, Vermont, began her artistic career early. She settled in Venice, Los Angeles County, with her mother Mary Devra Correa, and sister Abigail in 1996 after moving to Northern California. Tara discovered her love of music and performing arts at Claremont Middle School.

At Venice High School, Tara continued her studies and joined the chorus. She played the piano and danced in numerous troupes from age four, showing her love of performing. Her first major part was playing Big Mac, a middle school basketball player, in Rebound with Martin Lawrence at 14.

She played Graciela Reyes on CBS’s Judging Amy, continuing her breakout. Tara showed her acting range as a teenage ex-gang member trying to change. Despite her auspicious start, inconsistency throughout Judging Amy’s filming hampered her career. Tara’s brief entertainment career left an indelible impression on her collaborators.

What happened to Tara Correa-McMullen?

On October 21, 2005, Tara Correa-McMullen died in front of her Inglewood, California, apartment complex, ending her bright career. Tara was 16 when Damien Watts, a gang member she was dating, shot her crazily.

Tara’s life fell after moving into her own Inglewood apartment and dating Watts, a ten-year-old man. That fateful evening, Tara was shot numerous times in the torso while racing into her apartment complex for safety. Her attempts to flee the carnage failed, and the burgeoning celebrity died prematurely.

Tara and two others were shot but survived. Tara Correa-McMullen’s death shocked the entertainment business and showed the dangers of bad company.

Tara’s murder was motivated by her relationship with Watts, which began after she moved into her apartment at 16. The age disparity and Tara’s mother’s apparent rejection of her partner anticipated a rocky relationship. Damien Watts, the senior gang member, became Tara’s idol, leading her down a dangerous path away from her acting career.

 One murder and two attempted murder charges were filed against Damien Watts on March 1, 2006. He was found guilty of murdering Tara Correa-McMullen on January 23, 2009. Watts received five life sentences without parole for his irrevocable tragedy on Tara and others.

In 2007, E! featured Tara’s tale in Boulevard of Broken Dreams, highlighting the dark side of celebrity. Tara Correa-McMullen’s story illustrates the dangers young talent faces in showbiz, where personal choices can have dire effects.

Tara Correa-McMullen Murder Case: Where is killer Damien Watts now?

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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