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Day 2: Tempers flare as testimony begins in T’kia Bevily murder trial

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 7:20 PM CDT
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MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Day two in the T’Kia Bevily murder trial has ended. The Claiborne County woman is accused of murdering her stepdaughter back in October of 2017.

On Tuesday, the first witness took the stand: James Jefferson.

When the crime happened in 2017, he was an investigator with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department and was one of the first to respond to the scene once the call came in that Jurayah died.

Prosecutors are alleging T’Kia is responsible for Jurayah’s death.

District Attorney Daniella Shorter is arguing that T’Kia’s motive for committing the crime is because the 14-month-old messed up her “American Dream.”

Shorter says T’Kia wanted the perfect life and perfect marriage, and says with her husband, Morris Bevily, fathering Jurayah, that got in the way. The DA is saying that’s what led to the crime.

While prosecutors argue that point, the defense is saying that’s not true. Attorney Dennis Sweet is saying Morris wanted to take care of Jurayah and that T’Kia wanted to support Morris and also help take care of the baby.

Investigators say Jurayah died due to multiple blunt force injuries to the head. The defense is also arguing that Jurayah received those injuries before T’Kia and Morris picked her up for the day.

They’re saying Jurayah just happened to die while in their care.

They point to the fact that she was with at least ten other people before the Bevilys picked her up.

Tempers also flared during Tuesday’s testimony. In fact, the judge told Dennis Sweet to control his team after an outburst was made.

Jurayah’s biological mom, DeDruna Smith, was in the courtroom Tuesday. There were dozens of supporters inside the courtroom for her and T’Kia.

The judge sent the court into recess until 9 o’clock Wednesday morning.

We will continue to follow this trial and bring you the latest as things unfold.

Previous Coverage: Trial begins for T’Kia Bevily, accused of killing 14-month-old stepdaughter

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