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Family of 9-year-old shot and killed in drive-by shooting still seeking justice one year later

Last Updated 2 days by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

Exactly one year after the murder of 9-year-old DaMyiah Barton-Pickens, her family is still waiting for justice.

The Silverton girl was shot dead in her grandmother’s house during a drive-by shooting. Officials said she was hit by one of at least thirty bullets that the sheriff said were likely meant for a family member who wasnt home.

On Wednesday, in the shadow of Hamilton County’s courthouse and justice center, dozens of family members and friends gathered to march in her honor.

Dressed in custom pink t-shirts with the message Forever 9, family members said the speed at which the justice system is working has been emotionally difficult.

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Its hard to have patience like this when youre frustrated, her mother Danieka Pickens said. Im never going to feel at ease with my heart, but something needs to be shown for it.

Last month, court records show Demario Williams pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, carrying concealed weapons, vehicular assault and failure to stop after an accident in connection to the shooting. He was sentenced to 3.5 years behind bars.

Two other defendants, Qasseem Dixon and Ryan Brown, are scheduled to be in court next week.

The family said they have appeared for every court date so far.

We try to come in there headstrong. Just let them know we’re focusing, this is what we want, and youre gonna see us every time for us to get justice. no matter how long it takes, Pickens said.

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The pain of the 9-year-olds death is still fresh for her family. Fighting back tears, her 12-year-old cousin Kelsie Pickens said her energy lit up the room, and she always helped people when they were at their lowest.

Her aunt Dorshika said she typically doesnt let her children come to court, but todays focus was using her niece’s story to promote an end to violence in the community.

I feel like we have a duty to speak up and speak out not only for our children but for the community, period, Dorshika said.

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Were here together, were here as one. Because if we become one, maybe somehow we can get some results, Danieka said.

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