Teen Charged in Stabbing Says Victim Started Fight, Charging Documents Say

The suspect, Kyla Jones, says the victim took her cell phone to start a fight, charging documents reveal

What to Know

  • The suspect and victim had an ongoing dispute that ignited when the victim stole the suspect's cellphone, the suspect told police.
  • When a judge said Kyla Jones would be held without bond, Kaelia Minor's family burst into applause.

The 18-year-old woman charged in the stabbing death of a 17-year-old girl told police the victim took her cellphone because she wanted to start a fight, charging documents reveal. 

Kyla Jones, 18, was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder while armed in the death of Kaelia Minor, a 17-year-old high school student. 

Jones appeared in court Wednesday afternoon. When a judge said she would be held without bond, Minor's family burst into applause. 

Jones told police she and the victim were involved in an ongoing dispute that ignited when Minor stole Jones' cellphone. 

According to charging documents, Jones got onto a Metrobus on Gallatin Street Monday and saw the victim sitting near the back of the bus. Jones told police she sat in the front to avoid a confrontation. 

But once she saw the victim walking toward the front of the bus, Jones said she put the knife she carries on her lap, charging documents say.

Jones claims the victim told her to "put the knife down" and threatened to rob her if she didn't fight her. 

A witness was trying to separate the teens when the victim took the suspect's cellphone and ran off the bus, charging documents say.

Still armed with the knife, Jones followed the victim, and the two teens began to fight near the intersection of Kansas Avenue and Emerson Street NW.

Jones soon realized the victim had been stabbed, but told police she didn't think she was seriously injured.

Jones and other witnesses say Jones then searched the victim for her phone as Minor lay on the ground.

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One witness reported hearing Jones say, "She took my phone" as she searched Minor's body.

Another witness heard Jones say she didn't care what happened to the victim and that she just wanted her phone.  

Once she found her phone, Jones told police she left the scene and took an Uber to meet a friend in Southwest Washington to get marijuana to smoke. 

But once she found out Minor had died, Jones told her parents what happened and turned herself in to police, the documents say.

Jones reportedly told police she threw the steak knife she used to stab Minor down a sewer, and investigators were able to recover it. 

Chenna Latta, the victim's cousin, said Tuesday that her family is relieved a suspect has been arrested. 

"We forgive you. But it hurt us. Because at the end of the day, God wants us to forgive," Latta said. "But it hurts so bad."

Minor, a senior at Calvin Coolidge High, was just three blocks from home when she was stabbed. 

"It destroyed me," said Minor's mother, Docia Proctor. "It was just me and her, and she's gone." 

Minor was a good student and captain of the dance team, Proctor said. 

"She was beautiful and somebody took her from me," she said through tears.

Minor's family said they are planning to hold a candlelight vigil for her Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Kansas Avenue and Emerson Street.

Minor, who had recently been accepted into college, had "so much potential," neighbor Neil Arp said.

"I just know that she could have really become someone," he said.

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