'What's so funny?' family cries out in court hearing for teen accused of 3-year-old's Easter murder
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Family of a 3-year-old killed on Easter Sunday had to be escorted out of the courtroom, Friday, after an emotional outburst directed toward the accused teen murderer awaiting judgment.
Christopher Cullins, 15, is accused of killing 3-year-old T'Rhigi Diggs Easter Sunday. The young boy was in the back seat of his mother's car when the gunfire rang out.
The Diggs' family was in the courtroom for Cullins' court appearance, where they told 11Alive the teen's family was reportedly hostile to them from the beginning.
"When we stepped off the elevator, they were already laughing and talking about how 'Anyone can get it,' and just making all kinds of remarks," said Diggs' aunt, who didn't want to give her name.
"They were just being rude," Diggs' grandmother, who also declined to give her name, said.
As Cullins waited for his turn in court, family told 11Alive the teen was smirking at them. That led to an outburst from Diggs' family, with the 3-year-old's mother Roshonda Craig shouting "What's so funny?"
Video from the courtroom shows several officers having to restrain and escort Craig and family out of the room.
WATCH | Family of 3-year-old shot and killed on Easter gets emotional in court
Family was eventually allowed back in the courtroom, while lawyers made their arguments about whether Cullins should get bond. The judge ultimately denied that request.
Diggs' grandmother told 11Alive after the hearing was over that it was important for family to be in the courtroom, despite the pain.
"We just gotta be strong, and go in there and be there for T'Rhigi," she said. "This is for T'Rhigi. We just want justice for him."
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T'Rhigi was shot, and ultimately killed, near the corner of Eastland and Bouldercrest Roads in Atlanta Sunday, April 1. Police were originally investigating the shooting as a drive-by that they thought involved passengers of a car that pulled up next to Diggs' mother's car. However, with the mother insisting that someone in the car was brandishing a paintball gun, police still want to speak with them.
After speaking to many witnesses, however, police later confirmed that the bullets came from a gas station near the intersection. Police were able to determine Cullins was the shooter, and the teen was found and arrested at school 10 days later.
A decision whether Cullins will be tried as an adult has not been made, however the District Attorney's Office confirmed to 11Alive the case has been bound over to the DeKalb County Superior Court.
T'Rhigi's grandmother said she hopes some sort of change can come from this ordeal.
"If you have a child, and they're rebellious, doing drugs, carrying drugs, doing anything illegal and you (parents) have the knowledge of it, or whatever, then you should be partially held responsible when later on, they commit a murder or something like this," she said. "I asked the D.A. if that was a part of the law, and he said, 'No,' and I don't understand why."
Meanwhile, family is continuing to try to move forward from a tragedy that happened on a holiday that should have been about celebration.
WATCH | Family of 3-year-old killed on Easter speaks after court appearance
"He just had a big heart," his aunt said. "It was like he had been here before. His smile would brighten the whole room, and we gon' miss him."
"I called him my Grand-man," T'Rhigi's grandmother said. "You could be asleep or whatever, and he would just come and want to be around you and show his love all the time, and it just makes you feel so bad. Because if we knew we would only have him for three years we would have hugged him more, kissed him more, spent more time with him, and that really hurts."
PHOTOS | Saying good-bye to little T'rhigi Diggs
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