DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The family of a 13-year-old accused of killing her 2-year-old sister will spend their Thanksgiving holiday planning a funeral for their youngest child and a murder defense for their oldest.
The funeral for Sasha Ray will be on Tuesday, November 27th but the family is not yet sure where. They say so many in the community have offered their support, they hope to find a church big enough for the public to attend.
People started leaving flowers, cards and stuffed animals at the family's mailbox. Sasha's father set up his own memorial at the entrance to their community on Warriors Path and Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur. That's where he says Sasha died in his arms as they tried to rush her to the hospital.
"I got in the car and we tried to take her to the hospital. She didn't die until we got to the entrance of the community so that's why I put the memorial there. That's where she took her last breath," said Ray.
The Ray family says they don't want to lose another daughter, this time to the criminal justice system. They've made it clear, that if their daughter is guilty, she needs to know actions have consequences. But they don't agree with the decision to charge their daughter as an adult.
Jackson made her first court appearance Tuesday afternoon on the murder charge against her.
Jackson only looked at the ground as she walked into court and had nothing to say when asked by 11Alive if there was anything she wished she could say to her sister.
Jackson didn't even look at her parents in court, until her step-father Shelton Ray broke the silence yelling, "I love you."
Jackson was babysitting her sister and three other siblings at their Decatur home on Waldrop Trail on Monday, when she called her parents to report Sasha missing.
After a search of the home and neighborhood, Sasha's father found her in the backyard. DeKalb County Police say the little girl had been stabbed multiple times in the chest.
According to DeKalb Police spokesperson Mekka Parrish, the teen attacked the little girl inside the home and then took her body outside. Investigators said the teen was upset about something earlier in the day, but would not indicate what.
Neighbor Veronica Hillmin told 11Alive that she had called Tyasia's mother and told her there was a boy in the house, earlier that day. According to Hillmin's account she went over to the house and told to boy to come out because he was "trespassing" and he wasn't supposed to be there.
Jackson did post on her Facebook page shortly before noon that she was mad about something and at 1:06 told friends her sister had died.
Police said three other children, ages 3, 4 and 5, were inside the home at the time of the attack, but do not believe they saw it.
The family has set up a "Sasha Lamaya Ray Memorial Fund" to help with funeral costs. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank in the metro area to account #2096018995.
The family says it hopes to use any money left over, if there is any, to move. Ray says the town house they rent has too many bad memories and they want a fresh start for their three young children.