One month later and still no funeral service for 3-year-old shooting victim

Ohio Headlines


Watson died June 22, nine months after being shot through her mother’s(Mahogany Luke, 27) car, while they were stopped at a stop sign on Ridge Avenue.

Watson’s body is being kept at the coroner’s office in Cuyahoga County, OH, near Cleveland, almost 100 miles away from Jefferson County.

As time progresses, and funeral services are being held at bay, Luke told 7News, local funeral homes are warning her, that the chances of having an open-casket service for her little girl are dwindling away.

“Your body is not resting. Your soul is not resting. I keep trying to tell them that my baby is not resting. She is still walking around in limbo because of this,” said Luke.

According to the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney, Jane Hanlin, Sa’Raijah’s initial autopsy was completed within the first few days of her passing. Hanlin said the defense attorney has requested that Watson’s body be kept with the medical examiner, in case they should ask for a second autopsy to be done.

“We are going to have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, what caused the death of that child and in order for us to bring justice to her, we have to go through these procedures as heart-breaking as they are,” said Hanlin.

Teenage shooting suspect, Brylee West is in police custody pending his next hearing, which is slated for November 4. He faces attempted murder and felonious assault charges.

According to Hanlin, once the physician who performed Watson’s autopsy releases the cause of death, the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office will share the information with the defense counsel, this is when the defense will determine whether or not they want the second autopsy performed.

A heartbroken Mahogany Luke said she’s worried that when it’s all said and done, her daughter’s once smiling face, could be un-recognizable.

“By the time we see her again, I might not even recognize her. She’s not going to be the baby I saw that morning,” said Luke.

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