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Suspect in Missouri boy’s death asks for pre-trial release

February 5, 2022 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Attorneys for a Missouri woman accused of killing a 4-year-old boy are asking that she be released from prison during legal proceedings.

Quatavia Givens is accused of killing Darnell Gray while she was babysitting him in Jefferson City in October 2018. She initially was charged with child abuse, which was upgraded to second-degree murder and other counts.

Given’s was released on bond after the previous charges but was jailed again when a grand jury indicted her in August 2021 on first-degree murder and other charges. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

During a hearing on Friday, Givens’ attorneys argued that she had followed all conditions set by the courts when she was previously released, the Jefferson City News-Tribune reported.

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Givens’ attorneys also asked that the first-degree indictment be dismissed, arguing that prosecutors have not presented any new evidence to support the enhanced charge.

Cole County Prosecutor Locke Thompson argued that a first-degree murder charge and a possible life sentence makes anyone a high risk to flee.

Givens reported the boy missing on Oct. 25, 2018, and said he might have been abducted, prompting several searches. Darnell’s body was found a week later. An autopsy indicated he died of blunt force trauma and smothering.