Hearing held in capital murder case of Jurayah Smith

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - A Claiborne County woman accused of killing her stepdaughter was in court Monday

Last year, T’Kia Bevily was sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering her stepdaughter, 14-month-old Jurayah Smith. But her conviction was overturned after a judge learned a juror was related to the victim in the case.

The hearing lasted for about an hour and the defense and prosecution presented a range of motions. Some were denied by the judge and others were granted.

T’Kia Bevily and Jurayah’s father, Morris, are both facing capitol murder charges for the toddler’s death.

Jurayah Smith was killed in October 2017 after sustaining multiple blunt force trauma to the head. The judge ordered the prosecution to turn over DNA slides of the child to the defense, so its team of experts can examine them.

The defense was ordered to turn over information regarding witnesses they plan to call during the trial to the prosecution.

The most notable ruling was the judge’s exclusion of evidence related to allegations of criminal conduct on the part of the medical examiner.

Another pre-trial hearing will be held on April 19 in Copiah County. Bevily is currently out on a million-dollar bond. Her trial date is set for May 2.

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