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Murder/Abuse Suspect Arraigned: Protestors Urge More Arrests & J - KOAM TV 7

Murder/Abuse Suspect Arraigned: Protestors Urge More Arrests & Justice for Jayda

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Joplin, MO -

 The man accused of murdering three year old Jayda Kyle of Carl Junction, Missouri entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment today.

Jalen Vaden was with a public defender. He is accused of throwing Jayda to the flood several times because she wouldn’t wear pajamas. Police say Jayda died of severe head injuries.

Vaden was the live-in boyfriend of Jayda's mom.  Police have previously cleared her of any wrongdoing.

And his arraignment drew a group of protestors at the courthouse. Protestor chanted, "We want the truth! We want the truth!" Two dozen people marched down 7th street and around the Jasper county courthouse calling for Justice for Jayda, the three year old killed as a result of alleged abuse. Many of them are relatives of the suspect Jalen Vaden.

Ashley Reeves, his cousin said,  "He might be guilty. He may be innocent. But, I do know there were two people in that house at that time and only one is behind jail. And to me that’s not right.”

In the courthouse, during Vaden's arraignment, the group was respectful and quiet in the  halls while others filled courtroom seats.

“Justice for Jayda is the goal,” said Mandy Duncan, a friend and member of the justice for Jayda group. We asked, “What does justice mean to you?” Duncan answered, “That the correct people be held accountable and charged for her murder."

Protestors said they believe there's been obstruction in this case. The march moved several blocks from the courthouse to the front of Judd McPherson’s law office. The attorney is Jayda's grandfather. His daughter, Devyn Kyle has not been charged. And on December 7th, Carl Junction Police Chief Delmar Haase said he didn’t believe the family had any involvement.
Mandy Duncan had doubts, "Judd McPherson is an attorney in this town. He's got a lot of connections and there’s things that have happened. Things that have been said and things that have been tried to overturn and you know things he's done himself."

The Jasper County sheriff held a press conference Tuesday  to assure those concerned that the investigation is fair and impartial and ongoing. Sheriff Randee Kaiser explained, "We can’t share all the details about it. We can’t share all the facts and evidence we've gathered. We can't share where we're at with it. Um I’m sure that if we could, some of the questions would be answered many people have. Unfortunately,  this is where we're at with the investigation."


Duncan reacted, "It was a waste of time. They told us what we already knew."

Members of Save Our Youth out of Oklahoma were in court and  part of the march. Lavell Harris with SOY said,  "It's a tough time when you lose a life, so we're just down here showing support. And, um, justice for the baby."

Others say Jayda's case needs special attention.

Heather Leathers, with Justice for Jayda said,  "We need people that are not involved. People that are not members of the community that know people. We need higher up  people down here investigating  to get a real true investigation.  We just want the truth for Jayda. The whole truth."

Officials with the sheriff’s office said the investigation started over at the beginning when they took complete control of the case. They indicate that if evidence collected can prove a need for more charges of more individuals then more charges could be filed.

We reached out to the attorneys representing both sides in this case for reaction to the protestors' allegations but did not receive replies.

A pre-trial conference for Vaden has been set for January 31st, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for February first. 

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