Jurayah Smith Cause Of Death, Obituary Not Yet Available – T’Kia Bevily’s capital murder trial entered its eighth day on Wednesday. Jurayah Smith, her 14-month-old stepdaughter, was killed, and the Claiborne County woman is charged with capital murder. Prosecutors have spent the last seven days questioning witnesses and presenting their case.
According to wdam.com, It was the defense’s turn on Wednesday. Two witnesses were called to testify by the defense attorneys. Both medical specialists, both doctors, claim that Jurayah’s death was not caused by numerous blunt force trauma to the head, and that the manner of death was not a homicide.
Dr. Peter Dehnel, a pediatrician, and Dr. William Truly, a family and emergency medicine doctor who also happens to be the Mayor of Canton, both expressed similar views. Dr. Dehnel claimed that he does not believe there were any severe internal head injuries that led to Jurayah’s death, based on images and evidence he has seen and Jurayah’s external appearance when she died.
Jurayah did have a linear skull fracture, according to medical specialists, and it happened at least 14 days before she died. However, witnesses and medical experts disagree that this was a factor in her death.
Dr. Truly said on the evidence that medical data and images he collected show Jurayah was not harmed or neglected, and that the manner of her death is unknown. Prosecutors are divided. They point out that Truly and Dehnel are the only ones who believe that, and that four other medical professionals believe multiple blunt force trauma to the head caused the death and that homicide was the way.
District Attorney Daniella Shorter cited a video taken on October 21st in which 14-month-old Jurayah was seen walking and seeming “fine,” according to others who were present. The DA maintained that the video proves Jurayah’s head injuries occurred after she was taken home by the defendant, T’Kia Bevily, and her husband, Morris Bevily, the child’s father.
With those injuries, Shorter claimed in court that Jurayah would not have been able to walk and be herself, as demonstrated in the video. However, Dr. Truly stated that looking at the video alone would not allow him to determine whether Jurayah had sustained a brain injury at the time. Dr. Stephen Godfrey, an anatomical pathologist, is scheduled to be the next witness called by the defense. The court will be closed until 9 a.m. on Thursday.