(CNN) — The mother of a 9-year-old girl whose body was found in a duffel bag outside Los Angeles now stands charged with murder, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Taquesta Graham, 28, made a brief court appearance in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pomona. Her arraignment was postponed until April 16. She is being held without bail at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, according to jail records.
It was unclear whether she has legal representation.
Graham and her boyfriend, Emiel Hunt, 38 are accused of killing Trinity Love Jones on March 1, according to a criminal complaint. Trinity’s body was found a few days later along an equestrian trail in Hacienda Heights.
Workers cleaning brush along the discovered the girl’s head and upper body protruding from a partially zipped black duffel bag.
The case remains under investigation and authorities are asking that anyone with information come forward.
Hunt also faces a murder charge. In 2005, he was convicted of child abuse with great bodily harm in San Diego County, the complaint says. The previous conviction could mean a stiffer sentence if he’s convicted in Trinity’s killing, according to court records.
Graham, who was extradited from Texas as investigators prepared the criminal case against her, also has a prior record. She was convicted in 2016 of enticing a minor for prostitution in San Bernardino County, the complaint says.
If convicted, Graham and Hunt face a maximum penalty of life in prison.
On March 8, they were stopped at a border patrol checkpoint in Hudspeth County, Texas. Graham was arrested on an unrelated warrant, and Hunt was released and continued driving back to California, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Hunt was arrested March 9 after police found him sleeping in his car in a parking lot near San Diego International Airport, the sheriff’s office said.
Hunt was charged with one count of murder, and his bail was set at $2 million. His arraignment was continued to April 16. A public defender will be assigned to represent him.
Investigators have learned that 10 months ago Hunt and Graham moved with Trinity from a family member’s home in Long Beach — 15 miles from where her body was found.
Since then, the extended family had seen or heard from the three only on a few occasions, and investigators discovered they had been living in their car or in a motel in Santa Fe Springs, about a 10-mile drive from Hacienda Heights, the sheriff’s department said.
There were no open or active Department of Children and Family Services cases involving Trinity when she was killed, according to the sheriff’s department.
High school principal who established a dress code for PARENTS defends her decision, saying she was fed up with moms in see-through shirts on campus
The Texas high school principal criticized for creating a controversial dress code for parents is refusing to back down from her decision to institute the adult wardrobe rules.
James Madison High School principal Carlotta Outley Brown made headlines in early April after a parent publicly complained that she had been refused access to the Houston, Texas, school’s campus while attempting to enroll her daughter simply because she was wearing a t-shirt dress and a head scarf.
The complaint prompted Brown to formalize a dress code for parents, which banned adornments including hair bonnets, shower caps and hair rollers, as well as prohibiting clothing such as low-cut tops, leggings, excessively torn jeans, sagging pants and Daisy Dukes. Critics claimed the dress code was classist and insulting.
‘I felt the need to enact the dress code because it was an educational environment, a place of learning,’ Brown told Inside Edition in an interview that aired Friday. ‘When anyone walks in, we have impressionable children and we have to model what we want them to know and learn.’
Brown said that the woman who complained was turned away from the school because she was wearing a ‘nightshirt’ and that it evident ‘that she did not have anything on under her garment.’
Prior to this woman, however, Brown said that she had been seeing an increasing number of parents arriving at the school wearing eyebrow-raising attire.
One mom, Brown said, ‘came in with a see-through shirt and you could clearly see her breasts and her nipples.’ Meanwhile, another mom had her thong underwear visible above her pants.
Brown said the parental dress code rules, which were sent out to school parents in a letter, were necessary because ‘Parents are their children’s first teacher’ and that formalizing the rules would ‘ensure that they know how to conduct themselves.’
She said that these rules were not meant to ‘prohibit them from their expression’ and that they only applied to parents looking to get inside the school. Parents were free to wear whatever they wanted in the carpool lane when dropping off or collecting their kids.
Among the more vocal critics of Brown’s dress code rules was Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.
‘Who are you to judge others who may not have the same opportunities that you do? Having a wrap on your head is not offensive. It should not be controversial,’ Capo told the Houston Chronicle, while also noting that Brown’s bans regarding school moms’ hair was ‘classist,’ ‘belittling’ and ‘dismissive.’
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Deputy slamming down Lincoln Park Academy student causing concern among parents
FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A viral video that is making the rounds on social media is drawing concern among parents.
The video shows a Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy taking down a sixth grader outside Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce.
“That’s kind of rough to be at a school campus, he didn’t have to slam him down like that,” said General Platt, as he watched the video while picking up his twins on Wednesday.
“I would have freaked out if I saw that in person,” said Jazmine Arias, as she was waiting to pick up her sister. “He’s a kid, I don’t think a little kid should be thrown to the ground like that.”
The 15 second video shows a the school resource deputy run after a 6th grader outside the school Tuesday afternoon and slam him on the grass. Another video then shows the student in handcuffs walking away.
“If the kid was fighting him back and he felt like he was in some kind of danger, then I could justify his actions, but it didn’t appear to be that way,” Platt said.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff Ken Mascara said the deputy did not use excessive force, and the video does not show what happened in the minutes beforehand.
“Our school resource deputy is very familiar with this student and knows he has a violent history, including possessing weapons,” Mascara said.
The Sheriff says the student was recently caught with a knife, and he has to be escorted around campus by a staff member because he’s been physically aggressive to staff and students.
Mascara says the 11-year-old was aggressive during dismissal on Tuesday, and when staff tried to stop him he ran away. That’s when the resource deputy took him to the ground.
“At the end of the day the deputy did everything he could to diffuse the situation, and his use of force fell within the legal and our agency guidelines,” Mascara said.
The deputy has been a school resource officer for eight years, three of which have been at Lincoln Park Academy. Mascara said the deputy has never had a complaint of excessive force.
The student is now facing a number of charges. He was taken to the hospital briefly and left with a band-aid. His grandfather tells WPTV, he is now undergoing a mental health evaluation in Lake Worth Beach.
Dallas 14-year-old shot to death in broad daylight
No arrests have been made after a Dallas 14-year-old boy was shot and killed on Wednesday in broad daylight. Police say several people were there when the shooting happened.
Police responded to the Carousel Court Apartments in Central Oak Cliff just before 1 p.m.
Police say the boy, who hasn’t been named, was found with a single gunshot wound. He was rushed to Methodist Dallas Medical Center where he died.
Hours after the shooting around 8 p.m., police were called back to the scene because of a break-in. It’s unclear if the two incidents are connected.
Witnesses tell police the shooting happened in front of a crowd.
Dallas PD is urging anyone with info to call Det. Tabor with the Dallas Police Department Homicide Unit at (214) 671-3605 or email@example.com.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $5,000 reward for info that leads to the arrest.