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story.lead_photo.caption Quatavia Givens talks to her public defender Thursday, March 21, 2019, during a bond hearing at the Cole County Courthouse. Givens has been accused of child abuse contributing to the death of 4-year-old Darnell Gray. Photo by Sally Ince / News Tribune.

A Jefferson City woman accused of contributing to the death of a 4-year-old last year is out of jail on a reduced bond while awaiting her potential trial.

Quatavia Givens, 26, posted $5,000 bond Wednesday and was released from the Cole County Jail, where she had been incarcerated since she was charged with one count of abuse of a child for allegedly abusing 4-year-old Darnell Gray in late October 2018 while babysitting him. She pleaded not guilty to the charge in January.

Darnell S. Gray, age 4, was reported missing Oct. 25, 2018, from a residence in the 1100 block of Buena Vista St. in Jefferson City. His body was discovered Oct. 30.
Photo by Submission via Jefferson City Police Department

In a Sept. 30 ruling granting Givens' request to lower her bond, Cole County Judge Jon Beetem noted the defendant could not make the cash-only bond of $100,000 he had set for her in March. The judge considered the risk of the defendant's non-appearance at trial and the risk to the community but noted "the specific circumstances of the crime charged, however heinous, does not suggest the risk of repetition." 

The judge denied a request by the prosecution to continue to hold Givens on a high-dollar bond. 

Givens initially reported to authorities that Darnell Gray was missing, saying she thought he might have been abducted, which triggered a week-long search that ended with authorities finding the boy's body last October. Authorities said Givens later admitted she had injured the boy, and an autopsy showed he had suffered multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

While out on bond, she will have to meet certain conditions ordered by the court, including electronic monitoring, remaining at home with no minor children present who are not her own, and travel limited to and from her court hearings.

Her next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 15. A jury from Johnson County in western Missouri will be selected to hear the case if it goes to trial in Cole County.


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