A Cole County judge said Tuesday that the court hopes to try a Jefferson City woman charged with child abuse in the summer of 2020.
Quatavia Givens, 26, was charged in 2018 in connection with the death of 4-year-old Darnell Gray.
At the first hearing since Givens was released on bond Oct. 10, judge Jon Edward Beetem said the trial will take about a week and should start in July 2020.
Givens reported the boy missing on Oct. 25 and told police he had run away from a home on Buena Vista Street. Later, Givens admitted she “may have hit him wrong,” according to court documents.
Gray’s body was found in a wooded area Oct. 30 and reportedly showed signs of blunt force and sharp force trauma.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Scott Fox said Tuesday that the coroner’s report in Gray’s death was recently handed over to prosecutors.
The court also increased the security in the case, limiting access to some information about the case.
Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson said security increases are not uncommon in high profile cases or those involving juveniles. Thompson said the security is meant to protect the jury pool and the identities of other juveniles who might be involved.
A trial setting hearing is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 29 in Cole County.