Raysate Chain Knight, age 6, was starved, imprisoned, and beaten to death by her stepfather, Raymond Jefferson, and her mother Connie Knight. Knight’s four other children, girls ages 16, 13, and 8 and a 4-year-old boy, were not abused. Raysate was homeschooled.
Raysate was born addicted to cocaine and removed from her mother’s custody. She lived with her grandmother, aunt and uncle until she was 4 years old and her mother reclaimed her. Knight and Jefferson kept Raysate locked in a urine-soaked closet, fed her less than their other children, burned her with cigarettes, and beat her with thorny branches. When Raysate turned the TV on too loud in September 2001, Jefferson beat her unconscious. Knight and Jefferson did not call an ambulance for fear of the abuse being discovered, and Raysate died as a result of her injuries.
The abuse came to light when Raysate’s body was found dumped in a water-filled ditch. During the six months it took to identify her body, she was known in the media as “Angel Doe”. Her grandmother eventually identified her from a police sketch. Knight and Jefferson were arrested in March 2003 in Lafayette, Louisiana, where they had fled after the murder. Both were found guilty of injury to a child. Knight was sentenced to 50 years in prison and Jefferson was sentenced to life.
Date: September 7, 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
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