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Family searches for answers in 13-year-old’s stabbing death

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    CINCINNATI (WLWT) — “I held her. I watched her as she died. I watched her, you know. All I could do was just hold her, hold her,” the father of a slain 13-year-old girl said, still in search of answers days after her death.

Maurice Jackson remembers his daughter, Nyaira Givens, as the glue that held his family together.

Givens was killed Monday night, fatally stabbed by another 13-year-old girl during a fight in Cincinnati’s Winton Hills neighborhood.

“I tried. I tried to stop the bleeding,” Jackson said.

She was stabbed with a pocket knife in the kneck, just after 9 p.m. Monday near her family’s home on Topridge Place.

Givens was taken to Children’s Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

“Just tried my best to protect her and be the father I could be, you know? I guess I didn’t pay attention to all the other stuff that was going on around her,” Jackson said.

Givens was the second oldest of seven children. She was a freshman at Aiken High School – a school in which the unnamed stabbing suspect also attends.

Jackson said his daughter and the stabbing suspect were “on and off friends,” but that his daughter was being bullied – something he believes may have contributed to her death.

Givens’ father said she was smart, mature and wanted to be a hairstylist. He said she wanted to bring beauty to the world.

“The pain I’m feeling right now, it’s just– I can’t explain it. It’s very unexplainable. She should be burying me. I shouldn’t be burying her,” Jackson said.

Meanwhile, the 13-year-old accused in Givens’ slaying appeared in court for the first time this week. The proceedings were virtual and quick, albeit emotional.

The teen could be seen wiping away tears while getting words of encouragement from her mother – the weight of the murder charge crashing down on the shoulders of a 13-year-old girl.

She sat silent as her attorney argued for her release.

“Your honor, I know these are very serious, as serious they get, charges; however, these are allegations at this point. We’re asking if the court would consider releasing her on EMU back to her mother. She’s only 13. She goes to Aiken. She has absolutely no record, she’s an ‘A’ student,” said her public defender, Kelly Rice-Hunt.

The suspect’s mother took time at the end of the hearing to offer support to her daughter.

“We love you. You going to be OK. Stay strong, and that’s what everybody said. You hear me? We got you on this,” she said.

The magistrate ordered the teen held until her next court date

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