What to Know
- Kyla Jones has been sentenced to 6 years for stabbing and killing Kaelia Minor in October 2016.
- The suspect and victim had an ongoing dispute that ignited when the victim stole the suspect's cellphone, the suspect told police.
- Jones expressed remorse for Minor in court Friday.
An 18-year-old woman has been sentenced to six years in prison for stabbing and killing a 17-year-old girl during a fight over a cellphone.
Kyla Jones, 18, was charged in Oct. 2016 with second-degree murder while armed in the death of Kaelia Minor, a 17-year-old high school student.
Jones showed remorse in court Friday and tearfully told the judge that she never intended on killing anyone.
"Her sentiment and what she expressed to the mother of the decedant was so heartfelt and deep that she wished she could take it back, but in that moment of heated anger the incident happened," Jones' uncle, Pastor William Swan, said.
"I'm very very sorry that someone had to die for this," Minor's aunt Adela Rolle said.
But Minor's family was angered by Jones' sentence.
"She killed my daughter and got away with it," said Minor's mother, Docia Proctor.
Jones previously 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, Oct. 17, 2016 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.
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," Proctor said. "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.