A 14-year-old girl and her 12-year-old sister are accused of killing their mother during a fight at a home in Mississippi, authorities say. Amariyona Hall has been charged as an adult in the murder of her 32-year-old mother, Ericka Hall, who was killed on January 4 at her home in Magnolia, Mississippi, The Associated Press reports. The 12-year-old girl has been charged with murder as a juvenile and is not being identified because of her age.
Amariyona Hall is charged with murder as an adult under Mississippi law. Suspects 13 and older are charged first in adult court and they can then petition to have the case moved to youth court, at a judge’s discretion, The Associated Press reports. Sheriff Kenny Cotton told reporters that the girls will both undergo a mental evaluation while in custody. Family members said Hall and her daughters had been having issues. Neighbors told WAPT-TV the girls were upset with their mother because she took away their cell phones.
“They were like children having problems,” said Robin Coney, Hall’s aunt, told The Associated Press. “She was trying to get them help and stuff, and was going to send them off because they didn’t go to school.” Amariyona Hall is being represented by attorney John McNeil. He did not respond to a request for comment and has not made comments to other news organizations about his client.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Amariyona Hall & Her Sister Stabbed Their Mother Multiple Times & Shot Her in the Chest Before Walking to Their Neighbor’s House to Ask for a Ride, Police & Family Say
Ericka Hall was stabbed multiple times, including in the back, before she was shot in her chest, family members told WLBT-TV. She was found dead after her daughters went to a neighbors house about 11:40 p.m. on Friday, January 4. Authorities believe she was attacked inside her home and then stumbled outside, where she died.
Jeremy Lenoir, a neighbor, told The Associated Press the girls tapped on his car window and asked him for a ride after police say they killed their mother. While they calmly talked to them, their mother was wounded across the street, the news organization reprots. “We rushed down the street to her daddy and her sister’s house, and when they came and drove down here, we found her on the other side of the car laid out,” Lenoir said. He said Hall had a knife in her back.
“When I went over there, she was laying on her back with both of her fists balled up, eyes open, so you could tell she was trying to fight them back,” Lenoir told the AP. “That was a terrible sight. That messed me up, and to think that her kids did that.” Lenoir said the girls were calm, but something seemed unusual. “They seemed weird. The girls, they came over here straight-faced, like nothing had ever happened,” he said.
The girls’ aunt, Robin Coney, said Amariyona Hall and her sister initially denied doing anything. “The girls, when I drove up, they were like ‘Tee Tee we didn’t do this,'” Coney told WLBT. “And I was like ‘OK, if y’all didn’t do it, where were y’all when the people that was doing it did it?'”
Coney said the girls and Hall were the only ones at the home Friday night when an argument broke out. “It was her gun. It was in her car. So they had got it out. So I guess when they were doing all that to her, she was probably trying to get to her gun to fight for her life,” Coney told the news station. After an investigation, deputies arrested both girls and charged them with murder in their mom’s death, according to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.
2. The Sisters Tried to Run Their Mother Over With a Car Days Before She Was Killed & She Called Deputies for Help, the Sheriff Says
Pike County deputies responded to Ericka Hall’s house days before she was killed after she called for help during a fight with her daughters. According to the Enterprise Journal, the girls tried to run their mom over with the family’s car. Although police responded, no charges were filed against Hall’s daughters in that case.
“With something like that, she should have made charges and had them arrested then,” Sheriff Kenny Cotton told the newspaper. “I can’t imagine what’s going on inside their minds to process that. A mom is a mom no matter what.”
Authorities believe Hall took away the girls cell phones as punishment for trying to run her over. That discipline led to the fight that ended with Ericka Hall dead, according to investigators.
3. Amariyona Hall, One of Ericka Hall’s 5 Children, Went to High School in New Orleans, Where She Played Volleyball
Amariyona Hall and her sister have three other siblings, including a younger sister and a brother, and a 16-year-old sister, according to their mother’s Facebook page. Amariyona Hall had spent time living in New Orleans, where she was attending high school, according to her Facebook page. Hall played volleyball at the school, she said on Facebook.
It is not clear if Amariyona was living with her mother or if she was home to visit at the time of her mother’s death.
Jeremy Lenoir, the Halls’ neighbor, told the Enterprise Journal that Amariyona Hall wanted to smoke marijuana after her mother was killed. He said as paramedics arrived, Hall said she needed to smoke a blunt. “I thought that was kind of strange. Your mother just passed. What are you even thinking about drugs for if your heart is really pure?” Lenoir told the newspaper.
4. Investigators Called Ericka Hall’s Murder ‘One of the Worst’ Cases They Have Worked
“This is probably one of the worse ones I’ve worked,” said Pike County Chief Investigator Chris Bell told WLBT-TV about the murder case. “This was our second response out there. We did go out there days earlier with an incident involving the mom, and I believe the 14-year-old. Deputies talked with the mom. Mom, at the time, she did not want to file any charges against the 14-year-old.”
Bell told the news station, “We have got to get a better handle on this when stuff like this happens. We’ve got to report it through the youth court so we can get a proceeding done. So we can try to see what’s going on with these kids. No one ever wants to hear about kids taking their mother’s life. It’s just a tragedy to happen.”
Ericka Hall worked nights at Sanderson Farms Chicken, a chicken processing plant, according to her Facebook page. Her funeral will be held on January 12. Her sister posted on her Facebook page, “Everybody (know) my sister loved the world, and y’all are showing mad love ,and I thank y’all! This is a hard pill to swallow but it’s in GOD’S plan!!! I just ask (you) all continue to keep us in y’all prayers.”
5. Amariyona Hall & Her Sister Both Remain in Custody, With the Elder Sister Being Held on $150,000 Bail
Amariyona Hall is being held at Pike County Jail on $150,000 bail. Her 12-year-old sister, who is not being identified because of her age, is being held at the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center. Amariyona is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on January 22.
An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, January 9, and the sheriff’s office says the investigation is still ongoing, with investigators gathering facts and collecting evidence to send to the state crime lab, WLBT-TV reports.