Judge grants motion of continuance for woman accused of killing a 4-year-old in 2018
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
During Wednesday's motion hearing, a woman accused of killing a 4-year-old boy in 2018 was granted a motion of continuance.
Givens was charged with first-degree murder, endangering the welfare of a child, abuse or neglect of a child, and abandonment of a corpse in relation to the death of 4-year-old Darnell Gray.
Quatavia Givens' appeared in court today as her defense team requested a motion of continuance. Givens' lawyers said they are working to provide documentation from an independent psychologist on Givens current mental state.
The request was filed 24 hours before Wednesday's hearing. The defense believes the evaluation will prove Givens will not be able to assist counsel.
Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson said it was "very frustrating to get a late notice like that."
Judge William Hickle delayed the trial that was supposed to happen in March to allow the defense to finish its evaluation. Thompson said the state will be conducting its own evaluation, depending on the defense report.
"We will likely be looking to have the Department of Mental Health do an independent evaluation," Thompson said.
The judge ordered both sides to check in with him on Feb. 27 as they work to finalize the next court date for the case, which has gone on for more than four years.
Givens -- who has been previously described as a caretaker -- was accused of killing Darnell Gray in October 2018. Court documents say she initially reported Gray as being abducted or that he had run away from her house in the 1100 block of Buena Vista Street in Jefferson City.
The boy was missing for six days before he was located but local law enforcement in the 2100 block of Louis Circle in Jefferson City.
A Grand Jury's indictment charged Givens with first-degree murder when it was revealed that Gray had been suffocated.
The judge hopes to continue to trial in August or September, however, Thompson said that would be the best-case scenario.
A vigil was held for Gray in October.