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NAACP, Black Lives Matter Gather in Joplin to Protest Murder Arr - KOAM TV 7

NAACP, Black Lives Matter Gather in Joplin to Protest Murder Arrest

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Joplin, MO -

Members of the NAACP and Black Lives Matter organizations came together in Joplin this afternoon to support a man they claim has been wrongfully accused of murdering a Carl Junction girl.  

Police found three-year-old Jayda Kyle unconscious and not breathing in December while responding to a call at a home where her mom and live-in boyfriend were staying.  Twenty-two-year-old Jalen Vaden is charged with second degree murder.  Investigators say Jayda died from head trauma after Vaden threw her to the ground several times for not wearing her pajamas.

"The purpose of the press conference was to bring some attention to a young man being held without bond, and wanting the truth to be known and revealed about the death of a precious little girl named Jayda Kyle," says Annette Reeves with Joplin's branch of the NAACP.

In the first part of this news conference, members of the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, along with Vaden's attorney, said Vaden is innocent.

"Jalen has professed his innocence, despite any 'confession'," says Tracey Martin, Vaden's defense attorney.

Later, an NAACP member said she believes Vaden's confession to police wasn't falsified, but his remarks were coerced.  

Vaden allegedly sent a letter from jail to Jayda's biological father, Mack, expressing his innocence.  

"I won't speak to that.  That was personal between Jalen and Mack," says Martin.  "Jalen has been pretty clearly instructed since I entered this case two weeks ago that we aren't going to be discussing facts and evidence with anyone but myself."

Martin says she will have enough time to present all evidence in court that supports Vaden's innocence, despite motioning for a speedy trial.

"There is a lot of strategy that goes into defending someone of a crime of this caliber.  As much as I would love to share with you my strategy, I can't do that," says Martin.

Black Lives Matter and the NAACP will not say who they think was really responsible for Jayda's death.

"We have to let the courts and the evidence prove that," says Reeves.

"If we get to the point where we have absolutely no confidence in local law enforcement, then we will make the proper appeal to get state or federal folk to come in, if we deem that that is necessary," says Rev. Darryl Gray with the Missouri Baptist Convention.  "But Tracey (defense attorney), she hasn't given us those orders yet."

The NAACP and Black Lives Matter are also asking for donations to Martin.  The organizations say Vaden needs experts for his case who are outside of the area and not influenced by the tight-knit Joplin area community.

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