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Jury from Johnson County to hear case of woman accused in Darnell Gray's death

Jury from Johnson County to hear case of woman accused in Darnell Gray's death

February 26th, 2019 by News Tribune in Local News

Quatavia Givens

A jury from western Missouri would hear the case of a Jefferson City woman accused of causing a 4-year-old child's death last year if it goes to trial.

Cole County Judge Jon Beetem had ordered lawyers in the case of Quatavia Givens, 26, to look at counties where jurors could be brought to Cole County for a possible trial. Their decision — Johnson County — was announced during a hearing Tuesday in Beetem's court.

Taylor Elswick, Givens' public defender, had requested a change of venue in this case in December, believing it would be difficult to find an impartial jury in the location where the crime occurred due to media coverage.

Givens is charged with one count of abuse of a child for allegedly abusing 4-year-old Darnell Gray in late October while babysitting him. She pleaded not guilty to the charge in January.

Givens had reported to authorities that Darnell was missing, saying she thought he might have been abducted, which triggered a weeklong search that ended with authorities finding the boy's body. Authorities said Givens later admitted she had injured the boy, and an autopsy showed he had suffered multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

Givens is scheduled to return to court next week for a bond hearing. She has been held without bond since she was taken into custody last year.