- Raisa Habersham The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A teenager accused of stealing an SUV and dumping two children on the side of the road in freezing temperatures last month appeared in court.
At a preliminary hearing Tuesday, a judge ruled there was probable cause to move forward with Khyree Swift’s case, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Swift, 17, and an alleged accomplice were arrested Jan. 19 after authorities said they stole an SUV with two children inside from a Clayton County QuikTrip, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Swift and a 16-year-old, who was not identified because he is underage, are accused of dumping 4-year-old Arya Davenport and 1-month-old Ava Wilmer on the side of the road, miles apart. Temperatures were below freezing that day.
Authorities believe the driver of the stolen SUV is still at large.
Stolen iPads and iPhones inside the car led to Swift and the 16-year-old, police said.
Swift’s attorney said her client’s only role was being at the QuikTrip.
“On behalf of the family, we are very sorry for what happened to the children,” defense attorney Nicole Fegan told Channel 2, “but my client had nothing to do with it. He didn’t steal the car, he didn’t kidnap these kids, (and) all of the stolen items were found on this other individual.”
But Clayton County police Det. Keon Hayward said Swift admitted planning the crime in an interview with authorities.
“He advised that they spoke about the incident, prior to committing the theft,” Hayward said in court.
Swift remains in the Clayton County jail without bond.
Fegan said she expects Swift to be indicted, but believes he will be found innocent.
“My client has been truthful,” she said. “He told them he was there, but that was it.”