New trial for woman accused of killing stepdaughter moved to Monroe County

Published 5:13 pm Thursday, April 21, 2022

A circuit judge in Claiborne County has ordered T’Kia Bevily’s retrial in the death of her stepdaughter, 14-month-old Jurayah Smith, moved to Monroe County.

The child died in October 2017 from blunt-force trauma to her head.

Bevily was convicted of capital murder in Smith’s death after a January 2021 trial and sentenced to life without parole a few weeks later. In September 2021, a judge granted a new trial for Bevily after it was discovered that a member of the jury was related to Smith.

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The judge said in the order moving the case that Bevily would not be able to get a fair trial in Claiborne County. The new trial will be on May 2 in Monroe County with jurors selected from a pool of people living in Monroe County.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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