Teen who killed 2-year-old sister sentenced to 12 years

Jennifer Ffrench-Parker | 1/3/2014, 6:04 a.m.
Ty’Aisa Jackson, who stabbed her 2-year-old sister Sasha LaMaya Ray to death in November 2012 and hid her body in ...
Ty'aisa Jackson leaves DeKalb Superior Court in Decatur Dec. 30 after pleading guilty to a reduced charge in the stabbing death of her 2-year-old sister, Sasha Ray.

Ty’Aisa Jackson, who stabbed her 2-year-old sister Sasha LaMaya Ray to death in November 2012 and hid her body in the woods behind her family’s Ellenwood townhouse, has been sentenced to 12 years with eight years to serve in custody.

The former Cedar Grove Middle School eighth-grader, who is now 14, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in an agreement with the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office.

She was originally indicted on six counts, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, cruelty to children in the first degree and a making false statement and was facing 20 years in prison.

Judge Gregory A. Adams imposed the 12-year sentence on Dec. 30. The five counts for murder and aggravated assault were merged into a single malice murder count to which Ty’Aisa pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. She also was sentenced to five years for making a false statement and will serve that time concurrently.

Her mother, Haneefa Ray, said they are happy with the sentence.

“It’s reasonable,” Ray said on Jan. 2.

Ty’Aisa was baby-sitting the toddler and sisters Sanai, 5; Shanell, 4; and Sade, 3, on Nov. 19, 2012, over the Thanksgiving break from school when she called her mother and stepfather Shelton Ray at work to report Sasha missing.

Her stepfather found the bleeding toddler in woods behind the family’s townhouse on Waldrop Trail.

At first, Ray thought the puncture wounds on Sasha’s body were from a dog attack, but police later told the family that Ty’Aisa, then 13, confessed to stabbing the 2-year-old seven times in the chest and hiding her body in the woods.

Ty’Aisa will serve eight years in prison and four years on probation. She has been in custody at a juvenile facility since her arrest and will receive credit for time already served. When she turns 17, she will be transferred to an adult correctional facility.

District Attorney Robert James said there are no winners in this case.

“We have a family that is broken emotionally beyond what many of us could comprehend,” he said. “Ty’Aisa and Sasha’s family will forever be changed by this terrible situation.”

The family has relocated to Stone Mountain, and Shelton Ray said after the sentencing that they are just taking it one day at a time and leaving everything in God’s hands.

“There is nothing more we can do,” he said.

Haneefa Ray said Ty’Aisa seems to be holding up pretty well, but that it is still tough for her dealing with the fact that her daughter killed her baby.

“It’s still shaky for me,” Ray said.

Ty’Aisa is still at the juvenile facility on Panthersville Road in Decatur.

Her mother said she sees Ty’Aisa when she can and talks to her regularly.

“I take all her collect calls,” she said. “And my grandmother comes up from Macon to see her every two weeks. Someone from the family is always going to see her during visitation. When there is some special event, I try to go.”

She said Ty’Aisa finished the eighth grade and is now in the ninth grade. She said she is loved by the people at the detention center.

Does she realize what she has done?

“Honestly, I don’t think it has hit her yet,” her mother said. “But I think it will when they ship her out to serve her sentence.”