‘I can’t accept that’: Battle family disputes charge in daughter’s death

LIMA — Kimberly Battle waited 11 months for someone to face charges for her daughter’s death. When that day finally came, Battle was disappointed to learn that the woman charged in that incident was charged with a single count of reckless homicide, a third-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

“I can’t accept that,” Battle said during a press conference with the Lima NAACP on Tuesday.

Her daughter, Ja’Kia Battle, 23, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest on Oct. 18, 2021 at 2036 Edgewood Drive.

The Lucas County Coroner’s Office ruled Battle’s death a homicide after the coroner determined her death was neither accidental nor self-inflicted.

The findings contradict a 911 call the Allen County Sheriff’s Office received the night of Battle’s death, during which the caller reportedly claimed Battle shot herself, according to the initial press release sent by the sheriff’s office.

Last Thursday, the Allen County Grand Jury indicted Kiara S. Totty, 33, on a single count of reckless homicide with a firearms specification related to Battle’s death. The firearms specification could add another three years in prison if Totty is convicted.

“Ain’t a day go by I don’t cry,” Battle said.

The grief has been so overwhelming that Battle stopped working, she said.

Battle is now focused on raising Ja’Kia’s 8-year-old daughter, Ny’Ajah, who suffers from similar bouts of grief.

“I can’t even count the nights (Ny’Ajah) broke down on the floor,” Battle said. “I just hear her howling in the next room because her mom [is] gone … and you get a reckless homicide? Come on now.

“If that was somebody else’s kid, there is no way you would have come back 11 months later with a reckless homicide.”

This is the second time the Lima NAACP has brought attention to this case. The organization held a press conference in January expressing concerns with the pace of the investigation at the time.

Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick declined to comment on the case Tuesday, as the case is still pending.

“She loved living,” Battle said of her daughter. “She didn’t care if she was broke, she loved living. She loved this life.”