The father and stepmother of a 14-month-old child in Mississippi have been charged in her death.
14-month old Jurayah Smith died on October 22 in 2017 while in the care of her father and stepmother. The child’s mother, Dedreuna Smith, posted the child’s initial pathological exam on social media and demanded justice.
In a video streamed to Facebook on May 1, 2018, Smith called for “justice for Jurayah.” In the video, Smith says Jurayah died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head. She found the baby lying in a crib with “green lips, (her) body still.” Her other daughter wakes up every morning, Smith said, with the same question: “Mama, where is Jurayah?”
“I tell her she’s gone, but she ain’t never going to understand that,” Smith said.
Smith expressed frustration that no one had been locked up for her baby’s death at that point. “At the end of the day, I can’t get my baby back. She ain’t never gonna come back,” she said.
According to reports, Morris Bevily IV and TKia Bevily are being charged with capital murder in the death of Jurayah. The couple turned themselves in to the Claiborne County sheriff’s office Monday morning. According to Davis, preliminary hearings have not yet been scheduled.
An autopsy listed that the baby died from multiple blunt head trauma. The manner of her death was described as a homicide. Sheriff Frank Davis and Claiborne Co. District Attorney Alexander Martin said they were waiting on the official autopsy from the State Crime Lab before proceeding with any arrests. Davis attributes the long turn around to lack of man power.
“It’s bad for us as law enforcement officials because there’s no way we should be waiting for this long,” Davis said “…We have no choice. We just have to live with it because they’re the ones we have to give our cases to.”
Davis said the arrests of Jurayah’s father and stepmother provides relief for her family.
“The family will receive some sort of satisfaction — though they’ll never be totally satisfied — knowing the case is presented to the court of law and people will stand trial for this child’s murder,” Davis told local news.