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NAACP, Black Lives Matter Event in Joplin Draws Criticism From Attorney

Joplin, MO -

A news conference yesterday held by the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and a local attorney is being criticized for concentrating on what another attorney calls rumors.  Three-year-old Jayda Kyle of Carl Junction was murdered in December.  Members of the NAACP and Black Lives Matter say the man arrested and now charged with second degree murder, Jalen Vaden, is innocent and that his confession was coerced.

Vaden was the live-in boyfriend of the child's mother, Devyn Kyle.  Today, we talked with the attorney representing Devyn, who has not been charged in this case.

"Shocking," says Joe Passanise.

That's how Passanise describes yesterday's news conference.

"I heard a very eloquent pastor indicate he was going to monitor the case, and based on the monitoring, whatever he saw fit, he was going to take action," says Passanise.

"If we determine that justice is not flowing, that justice is not fair, that people are lying or hiding information, not telling the truth, not being forthright, being misleading, then we'll do what we have to do," said Rev. Darryl Gray with the Missionary Baptist State Convention of Missouri during the news conference.

"Discussing the case publicly and not in a courtroom is troubling," says Passanise.

Jayda Kyle's mother is the daughter of a Joplin attorney and former police officer.  Some believe Joplin's tight-knit community has unfairly influenced justice.

Gray asked, "Does 911 get a call first, or does daddy get a call first?  How does that happen?  Why does the doctor show up, instead of EMS show up?  Why does this person do CPR, versus a doctor do CPR?"

Passanise won't address specific allegations, but told us his view of them, in general.

"Facts that have been disproven, and facts that have come no where close to what you heard at the press conference," says Passanise.

Vaden allegedly sent a letter from jail to Jayda Kyle's biological father, Mack, expressing his innocence.

"Law enforcement can't get it, prosecutor can't get it, lawyers involved in the juvenile matter have been asking for it," says Passanise.

Passanise says Mack not giving that letter to authorities doesn't help Vaden's case for innocence.

The attorney representing Vaden turned down our request for an interview today, saying everything she needed to say was heard during yesterday's news conference.

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