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story.lead_photo.caption In this March 21, 2019 file photo, public defender Taylor Elswick represents her client Quatavia Givens in Cole County court during Givens bond hearing. Givens has been accused of child abuse in the death of 4-year-old Darnell Gray. Photo by Sally Ince / News Tribune.

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

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The case of a Jefferson City woman accused of causing a 4-year-old child's death last year will be back in court in September.

At a status hearing Tuesday, Cole County Judge Jon Beetem ordered Quatavia Givens and her attorney, public defender Taylor Elswick, be back in court Sept. 10.

Givens remains in custody in the Cole County Jail with a $100,000, cash only bond.

She was scheduled to make an appearance by video from the jail before Beetem, but she would not come out of her cell for jailers.

Beetem talked with Elswick and Cole County Prosecutor Locke Thompson, who told the judge both sides were awaiting further pieces of evidence in the case.

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 Darnell was missing, saying she thought he might have been abducted, which triggered a week-long 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.

A jury from Johnson County in western Missouri would hear the case if it goes to trial. Beetem had ordered lawyers in the case to look at counties where jurors could be brought to Cole County for a possible trial.

Elswick 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.

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