Family speaks after woman accused of killing toddler released on bond

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A woman, who was convicted of capital murder in connection to the death of her 14-month-old stepdaughter, has been released from prison. T’Kia Bevily was released on a $1 million bond, and she is now awaiting a new trial.

Her family called this a small victory in a fight that’s far from over.

“I believe that Jurayah and T’kia both deserve justice, and I’m going to make sure they receive it,” said Bevily’s brother, Christopher Smith.

He continued, “We’re honestly ecstatic and thankful for the fact that T’kia Bevily has been brought home after being wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for eight months. We’re thoroughly dissatisfied with the black stain that the justice system now has regarding T’kia Bevily, and we’re ready to fight and prepare for her to never have to see the inside of a prison again.”

According to her mother, Bevily has suffered being separated from her children.

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Jurayah Smith

“They’re very happy to be back with her. It took a toll on T’Kia as far as being away from her kids; it overall. She was a trooper. She stood strong, and she kept the faith and she’s home,” said Audrey Smith.

Bevily was granted a new trial in September 2021 because one of the jurors failed to disclose he is related to the Jurayah Smith’s mother. Bevily’s brother believes she will be exonerated after a new trial.

“T’kia’s indictment was based on lies, as well as her conviction. So regardless of if she was found guilty with that jury, there was no evidence against her,” he stated.

Smith said the lack of evidence caused the Claiborne County district attorney to create a negative narrative about Bevily, which led to her conviction.

“They tried to build this narrative, this false narrative against T’Kia, as this quote-on-quote evil stepmother when that’s the furthest thing from the truth. T’kia went above and beyond for Jurayah, and she even went above and beyond for anyone that has met her as well as the biological mother. So, there was no hate or jealousy in T’kia’s heart, and there still isn’t any today,” he stated.

Her trial date has been scheduled for Spring 2022. The terms of her bond include Bevily being under house arrest, restrictions from leaving Warren County, and she cannot leave her home from the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. except for verified employment.

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