NBC10Philadelphia.com - Jesse Gary
The mother of one of the six teen girls accused of beating a woman and posting a video of it on Facebook claimed her daughter was innocent during a preliminary for five of the suspects.
The mother of one of the six teenage girls accused of beating up a woman with mental disabilities, claimed her daughter was innocent during a court appearance Monday morning.
Police say the attack happened near 12th and Morton Avenue in Chester, Pa. on September 25. The group of girls allegedly approached the woman while she was out on her stoop.
"This was an unprovoked attack," said Assistant District Attorney Greg Dawson.
One of the attackers began punching the 48-year-old victim. The attack then moved inside the home.
The victim suffered cuts and bruises on her face but did not get medical help, according to police.
A local parent saw the video on Facebook last Thursday and tipped off police.
Police tracked down four of the teenage girls in the video on Thursday. Janyea Bell, 16, Jamia Davis, 15, Rahmiyah Henderson, 16, and Anye Dennis, 16. On Friday police announced that Jasmir Womack, 17, and Takia Edwards, 19, were also in custody.
All the teens were arraigned as adults on first-degree aggravated assault, burglary, conspiracy and other related offenses. Bail was set at 10 percent of $50,000 for each teen.
Investigators say Bell, Davis and Henderson are students at Chester High School while Dennis is home schooled.
Five of the six suspects faced the judge Monday morning for a preliminary hearing.
After the hearing, Crystal Couch, the mother of Takia Edwards, insisted her daughter was innocent and blamed the media for the case against her. Edwards was arraigned too late in the day last Friday and will have her preliminary hearing in two weeks.
"Takia Edwards," said Couch. "Not guilty!"
Couch claims the video of the assault exonerates, rather than condemns her daughter.
"My daughter is not guilty," said Couch. "She didn't swing, kick, spit, fight or hit anybody!"
Her family tells NBC10 they'll continue to support her.
"My niece is not guilty," said Edwards' aunt. "I know in my heart she didn't do anything. And I'm going to stick by her side."
The preliminary hearing for all of the suspects has been continued until October 15 at 8:30 a.m. Three of the six defendants have private lawyers. The public defender's office will conduct interviews to see if court-appointed counsel needs to be provided for the other three.