FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) – On a rainy Thursday, the bike belonging to 10-year-old La’Marj Holden was where it was when he was gunned down in that duplex unit on Artis Street.
You can tell which unit it is because of the dried blood coming out from under the door.
After the shooting, police said Tashawnda Drayton took off.
She was already out of jail on bond for another crime.
10 On Your Side asked Dorothy Fulgham, La’Marj’s grandmother and with whom he lived up the street from where he would die, what she thought about Drayton being out on bond.
“I think they never should have let her out,” Fulgham said. “Never. Never should have let her out.”
Franklin Police Chief Steve Patterson arrested Drayton in March on that unrelated malicious wounding charge that she had received a bond to be out of jail.
“We are thankful the community helped us, and we need Ms. Drayton to turn herself in and we need to get this ready to go for the prosecution.”
10 On Your Side got a tip where Drayton was staying before all this happened, and when we went there, we found Drayton’s mother, Stacy Smith, under the watchful eye of a Virginia State Police Trooper.
We asked Smith, “Do you know where your daughter is?” She shook her head no.
When was the last time you saw her?
Smith didn’t answer.
When did you hear she was a suspect in killing a 10-year-old? What do you think about that?
“My daughter is not a killer.” she said.
We asked, “Can you tell us where you last saw her?
La’Marj’s grandmother is full of questions, how did this happen?
“When I heard this, I asked what happened,” Fulgham said. “What’s going on? Who shot him? Who was it? Who did this? They said to some girl. I don’t know the girl. I never met her. I don’t know nothing about her.”
We took some of the questions to Drayton’s mother.
“All this is sad. It is sad, that is all I have to say,” Smith said. “There (is) more than one side to a story, and once police do their thing, I believe my child will turn herself in and we will let justice prevail, that’s all.”