What Happened To Jurayah Smith? A Look Into Her Story As Her Father Faces Trial For Her Murder

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A jury found Jurayah Smith's stepmother not guilty in the 2022 re-trial. A judge had sentenced her to life in 2019.

Jurayah Smith was a 14-month-old child who died in 2017.

Police had arrested her father, Morris, and stepmom, Tkia Bevily, in 2019 for the homicide. And recently, a Monroe County jury issued a not guilty verdict on Tkia. 

What Happened To Jurayah Smith? Story Of Her Murder Explained

Jurayah Smith's murder took place on 22 October 2017 in Claiborne County.

According to the initial pathological examination posted on her biological mother's Facebook in October, the cause of death was multiple blunt head trauma. Likewise, the examiner had labeled it a homicide.

The 14-moth-old was living with her father, Morris, and stepmom, Tkia Bevily. According to Claiborne County Sheriff Frank Davis, many people had taken care of the child that day. All of them provided their statements to the authorities.

After the arrival of the State Crime Lab's complete autopsy report, police arrested the Bevilys in 2019 on capital murder charges. Reportedly, they didn't respond to the initial interview request and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, after theJurayah's death.

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Some doctors questioned Jurayah's death in Tkia's May 2022 re-trial, denying the possibility of multiple blunt force trauma to the head to be the cause. Dr. Peter Dehnel and Dr. William Truly had similar takes.

Medical experts did suggest that the toddler had a linear skull fracture, which she got at least 14 days before her passing. However, they did mention that it wasn't sufficient to kill her.

Even after five years, the reason behind the murder remains unknown.

Jurayah Smith Assaulting Father Morris Bevily Faces Trial For Capital Murder

Jurayah Smith's father, Morris Bevily, awaits trial for capital murder charges.

As for the date, it is unknown. The judge found Tkia Bevily, the toddler's stepmother, guilty in January and sentenced her to life imprisonment without parole a few weeks later.

Right after that, the trial of Jurayah's father was. The date was 1 February 2021. However, it never took place for reasons unknown. 

Then in September, the authorities discovered that one of the jury members was related to the victim's biological mother, Dedreuna Smith. Due to it, a judge allowed Tkia a re-trial, which began in May 2022.

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And on 13 May, a jury in Monroe County called the suspect not guilty. Judge (Tomika) Irving cited the verdict.

Jurayah's allegedly assaulting father has a pending trial date.  

Jurayah Smith Step Mother Tkia Bevily Was Found Not Guilty By Court

Monroe County jury found Jurayah Smith's stepmom, Tkia Bevily, not guilty.

The re-trial, which began on 3 March 2022, ended after ten long days. The prosecution and the defense called witnesses and presented their case.

And finally, the jurors took a little more than an hour to make their verdict.

Right after the decision, Tkia burst out with emotions, full of tears of joy and a big sigh of relief. She said she felt a little bit of shock to know the judgment. 

Moments later, she, her family members, and friends clicked photos. As for her next move, she is moving out of Mississippi's Claiborne County with her two children to somewhere else. 




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