An Ohio woman appeared in court Thursday morning for the first time since being charged just days earlier with killing her 5-year-old daughter last month.
A grand jury earliest this week indicted Menokka Karr Nealy on several felonies, including multiple counts of murder, for the fatal stabbing of E’Nijah Noelle Holland, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
According to court documents, the Cuyahoga County grand jury formally indicted Nealy with two counts of aggravated murder, three counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault, and one count of endangering children.
During Thursday’s proceeding, the victim’s father, Gregory Holland, addressed the court, issuing a stark rebuke of his late daughter’s mother and the system that placed the child in her care.
“Your honor, is there any way possible to make her bond the highest possible [amount], so this can never happen ever again?” Holland asked. “The system failed me. I was fighting for my daughter. It let me down and I just don’t want this to happen to nobody else. She should never see the day of light ever again. Ever.”
Holland became more emotional as he went on, appearing to repeatedly look up at the screen showing Nealy and her attorney participating virtually in the hearing from Cuyahoga County Jail.
“Somebody who can do that to their own child,” Holland said before cutting himself off. He then just shook his head and said, “no,” while again appearing to glance at Nealy on the screen.
“There’s so much stuff I want to say towards her,” Holland continued. “She don’t need to walk. Period.”
The judge presiding over the hearing set Nealy’s bond at $2 million and ordered her not to have any contact with her daughter’s family if she were to be released ahead of her trial.
Holland’s statement in court was captured by Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC:
As previously reported by Law&Crime, Holland on Feb 12 called 911 and requested a welfare check on Nealy’s home after allegedly having a disturbing conversation with the mother of his child.
Gregory reportedly told 911 dispatcher that Nealy had unambiguously stated that she’d just stabbed their daughter.
“She said she stabbed her,” Holland reportedly said on the call, speaking about Nealy and E’Nijah.
Joy Holland, E’Nijah’s grandmother and Gregory’s mother, also reportedly had a disturbing conversation with Nealy that prompted her to call the police. Joy reportedly said that Nealy taunted her about having just killed E’Nijah.
“I was calling my grandbaby to tell her that I bought her a gift that she asked me to buy her and as soon as I called her mother said, ‘she’s dead, and God’s coming to get you,’” Joy reportedly told WKYC.
As soon as the call ended, Joy Holland reportedly called police and requested a welfare check at the Southgate Towers Apartment Complex located on Northfield Road where E’Nijah and her mother lived.
Officers with the Bedford Heights Police Department responded to the request shortly after the call. Upon arriving at the apartment, first responders reportedly entered the home and found the victim on the floor in a pool of blood inside one of the back bedrooms in the home. She appeared to have sustained multiple stab wounds to her torso.
Personnel from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the home, taking custody of the body and pronouncing E’Nijah dead on the scene. Nealy, who was still in the apartment, was immediately arrested.
“It’s unimaginable to think that somebody would do that to their child,” Sergeant Robert Major with Bedford Heights Police reportedly told WKYC following Nealy’s arrest. “Our hearts go out to the family, especially the child’s father. I couldn’t imagine what he’s going through right now.”
Investigators have not disclosed a possible motive for the alleged murder, but they did confirm that E’Nijah was stabbed “multiple times” with a kitchen knife.
As he alluded to Thursday morning, Holland had reportedly already filed court papers and was in the process of trying to gain full custody of E’Nijah, but the proceedings had been repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic and recent weather events.
[Images via Cuyahoga County Jail, WKYC screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]