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Trial begins in toddler’s death; dad and stepmom charged with capital murder

14-month-old Jurayah Smith; 
Source: DeDreuna Smith, mother
14-month-old Jurayah Smith; Source: DeDreuna Smith, mother(WLBT)
Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 11:10 AM CST
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CLAIBORNE CO., Miss. (WLBT) - Four years after the tragic death of a toddler in Claiborne County, the trial began for the dad and stepmom charged in the case, Vicksburg Daily News reports.

Circuit Judge Tomika H. Irving is presiding over the trial which is expected to take several days.

Morris Bevily IV and T’Kia Bevily face capital murder.

The couple is charged in the death of Morris Bevily’s 14-month-old daughter Jurayah in October 2017.

T’Kia Bevily was the child’s stepmother, officials say.

The apparent cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma to the head.

There was a significant delay in charging the Bevilys due to reports from the Mississippi Crime Lab taking 18 months before being returned to the district attorney and the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office, Vicksburg Daily News says.

The Bevily’s have been free on a $1 million bond and are reportedly living in the New Orleans area.

Morris Bevily IV and T’Kia Bevily
Morris Bevily IV and T’Kia Bevily(Claiborne Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

Read all stories on this case here:

Toddler’s mother demands justice in daughter’s death

Father, stepmother arrested for crime

Toddler’s mother outraged after father, stepmother released on bond

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