JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — A little girl killed, allegedly because of a puppy.
That’s what Jefferson County, Tennessee, Sheriff G.W. “Bud” McCoig said led to the Saturday death of 8-year-old MaKayla “BooBah” Dyer.
McCoig told CNN’s sister network HLN that an 11-year-old boy asked to see the girl’s puppy.
When she said no, the boy shot her dead, according to the sheriff.
That 11-year-old is being held in a juvenile detention center on a first-degree murder charge. Jefferson County District Attorney James Dunn told CNN his office will determine whether it believes the boy should be tried as an adult, acknowledging that there would be a “heavy burden” to convince a judge to transfer the case out of juvenile court.
“We don’t have situations like this,” the prosecutor said. “… So it is very difficult.”
The public defender in the case, Edward Miller, told CNN affiliate WATE that “the court has ordered my client detained until (an October 28) hearing.” He did not offer more comments beyond that.
According to her obituary, MaKayla died just three weeks removed from her 8th birthday.
Her death shook up many in White Pine, a small town of just over 2,000 people located 40 miles east of Knoxville.
“My heart is aching because a little girl lost her life really young,” Chasity Arwood, a neighbor of both the victim and the accused, told WATE. “My heart is aching, too, because a little boy is having to go through what he’s having to go through.”
The slain girl’s mother, Latasha Dyer, choked back tears as she talked to the same news station.
“I want her back home, I want her back in my arms,” she said. “This is not fair.”