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Emergency hearing on gag order violations in T’Kia Bevily Capital Murder case results in contempt hearing

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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FAYETTE, Miss. (WLBT) - A Jefferson county courtroom was the site of an emergency hearing Friday in the case of the Claiborne county woman accused of killing her 14-month-old stepdaughter. The judge hears evidence that results in a contempt hearing for social media posts and discussions forbidden by her ruling a year ago.

The Claiborne county judge in the T’Kia Bevily capital murder case finds that her gag order has been repeatedly violated and orders a contempt hearing. Friday morning Bevily appeared before Judge Tomika H. Irving where Claiborne County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Beasley filed a contempt motion against Bevily for her participation in social media posts.

Beasley said the Facebook page “I Stand with Kia” contained flagrant violations of the judges’ order not to discuss the case. The judge issued a gag order in April of 2021. “I Stand with Kia” is a 501C 3 and contains information about hearings, which the judge said could prejudice a jury.

Attorney Dennis Sweet is joining his son in representing Bevily. He said the organization is not hers and showed a video of her on a Zoom call asking that animosity between the groups cease immediately. In the video, she reportedly tells people to let her have her day in court. The page also contained zoom discussions and information about previous hearings.

Judge Irving ordered a contempt hearing for the “I Stand with Kia” organization and its affiliates. She also issued an order to cease and desist immediately.

Jurayah’s mother, DeDreuna Smith, was also at the hearing. The order is extended to “Justice for Jurayah,” its affiliates, and all platforms.

The 22nd Circuit Court judge called the posts and discussions wrong and illegal and added that they needed to stop. Evidence will be sent to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations for a probe into jury tainting and obstruction of justice.

Irving will not preside over the contempt hearing. She said she is contacting the Mississippi Supreme Court for the appointment of another judge to hear that case.

Irving told the court she had been flooded with emails from citizens concerned about conversations on social media targeting potential jurors in the defendant’s upcoming trial in north Mississippi. She informed both sides of the case that she believes in integrity and the sanctity of the jury.

The judge said she would take drastic measures to make sure there is a fair trial. Bevily is set to stand trial May 2 in Monroe County.

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