Rapper Juvenile's 4-year-old daughter Jelani killed

02/29/2008 at 08:44 PM ET

The following news story has been disturbing to some readers, so it has been placed in the extended post. Please click continue reading if you wish to see the writeup.

Rapper Juvenile‘s 4-year-old daughter Jelani wasfound dead on Thursday, February 28th at her home in Gwinnett County,Georgia.  The little girl’s mother, deputy and aspiring actress Joy Deleston, 39, and her half-sister Micaiah, 11, were also killed. All three died of gunshot wounds.

Jelani’s 17-year-old half-brother, Anthony Tyrone Terrell,has been charged with three counts of murder and aggravated assault inrelation to the case.  The motive is under investigation.

Source: TMZ and Atlanta Journal Constitution


Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 72 comments

ang on


Sam on

OMG how terrible!

Sarita on

That’s awful, I hope they find out the motive.

kaylee on

My condolences for the family and victims

Colleen on

WOW. Unbelievably sad.

CTBmom on

How very sad. What has this world come to. My thoughts and prayers are with this family.

Sarah on

Oh dear god. I can not believe that someone would have such a cold heart that they could kill a little girl and her family. May they rest in peace.

Erin on

I heard about this on CNN today but had no idea that one of the kids was Juvenile’s. How horrific!! My condolences to the family and friends of those involved. =(

Carlie on

That’s terrible!!

My thoughts are with the family

Stef on

Why is this posted here? If this site is devoted to the celebration of parenthood and children and our comments in criticism of celebs are strictly monitored, why are we reading about a celeb’s young child being murdered by a family member? It makes no sense.

Sarah’s note: We usually post when a celeb child passes away, no matter the method or the cause. The site is news and photos based; all posts not necessarily a celebration of parenthood. Unfortunately sometimes the news is sad.

Janine on

that’s horrible!

Christine on

Holy cow. How horrible! My thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends.

Sarah on

This is very sad. 😦

I think you should let readers know that he was arrested in 2003 on the abandonment charge though so people don’t think he was arrested recently.

Sarah’s note: I edited Angela’s post. Thanks.

kelly on

omg thats horrible. i cant believe that its sick. my prayers are with everyone who has to deal with that case & the little girls friends & family.

Lilybett on

I’m a little confused about the wording here. Three people were murdered, two children and an adult. Would I be right in saying the 11 year old girl was the sister of the 4 year old but not the daughter of Juvenile? Besides being horrific, is that why the 4 year old’s death has been highlighted?

I’m also guessing the 17 year old is their brother but not Juvenile’s son… What a horribly warped world this boy must live in to even contemplate killing his own sisters (and mother).

Sarah’s note: Right. We normally wouldn’t use half sister, but I’ll add it here so it’s clearer.

Katie on

How incredibly sad. I had never heard of this family before, but my prayers are with Juvenile and their extended family and friends. How tragic…

Nita on

This is a tragedy, the family is in my prayers. No one deserves this kind of sudden pain. This just lets you know that bad things happen to anyone and we all need to get it together.

Nita on

Sarah, I do not think mentioning his recent or past arrest should have anything to do with the tragedy he’s suffering through. So what he has some skeletons in his closet, who doesn’t especially celebs. What is important is that he is a father who has lost his child, her sibling and her mother.

Sarah’s note: I think the other Sarah just wanted to make the point that the abandonment charge was not recent, as Angela had not included the date in the original post.

Tiff on

I live in the Atlanta Area and am somewhat affiliated with the music scene here. I was deeply saddened when I got the news of this death yesterday, but our media stations neglected to mention the relationship to Juvenile. This story continues to get sadder as the day passes.

kaylee on

My condolences for family, they will be in my prayers

Sarah F. on

How devastating…I am so sorry for the loved ones of this family. God Bless

Heather on

How horrific! My condolences to the surviving family.

Mary on

OMG, I read about this earlier today. I had no idea the younger child was his. This is a sad case all around.

Jo Ann v. on

OMG !!
I don’t know him, but… this is tragic !😦

Cindy on

Sorry, I’m with Stef on this one…we get enough of this kind of thing from CNN and the papers. Most of us come here to get away from that for a few minutes and read feel-good stories about celebs and their offspring. This is undoubtedly a horrific tragedy and it certainly sounds like the poor little thing didn’t get much happiness squeezed into those 4 brief years of hers, but I still don’t think this kind of thing should be reported here. I gotta say I was shocked to read this kind of thing at CBB…you all are very particular about comments made(which I’m personally thankful for btw)and have strict guidelines on the circumstances by which you will or will not report on a celeb…

Sarah’s note: Right, we have guidelines to prevent namecalling and fighting in the comments, and we strive to post only reputable news. I apologize if people were bothered by Angela’s post, but again, we have always posted when celebrity children pass away as it is news and falls under our site topics. I will place it under a cut since people are uncomfortable with the post.

Aya on

I’m sorry, I know the news is sad and disturbing, but why all the negativity for CBB posting it ??? Just do what I do when I come across something that displeases me –>> scroll down. CBB is a lot more than just celebrities out with their babies shopping and stuff to buy, you guys. Sometimes there is important news to report. From my understanding that is what CBB is all about. Celebrity children. There is not always going to be hunky dory things to report. These are innocent lives that were lost and are worth remembering.

Also, our comments are monitored because people can be really nasty to each other or towards certain celebrities sometimes. I am glad that someone takes the time out o actually filter out all of the nonsense. This is not people bickering back and forth, this is a reputable site reporting the news of a family tragedy and a very young child’s tragic death.

CBB, good work and keep it up !

P.S. Did everyone get so bent when you guys posted the death of Heath (I don’t know if he’s a CB)?

Ericka on

Wow, how horribly tragic. My heart goes out too him and his family at this very sad time. I can’t even begin to imagine what he’s going through.

I commend CBB for posting this because they post about when a child dies from other causes, natural or not. Its obviously a very heartbreaking story…I’m glad theres a link so people can decide for themselves too read it.

“We usually post when a celeb child passes away, no matter the method or the cause. The site is news and photos based; all posts not necessarily a celebration of parenthood. Unfortunately sometimes the news is sad.”

You guys handle it very tastefully. I’d much rather read about it on here than any other website.

xxLostGirl92xx on

Oh my…so sad, so tragic.

R.I.P little Jelani x

Starlet on

This is just so sad, I’ll be keeping them all in my thoughts and prayers. I know someone who lost her family to something like this (she wasn’t at home at the time) and it is simply the most devastating thing that can happen.
Thank you for handling it so sensitively CBB, you always do such a good job at these things.
Condolences to the family and friends.

Becky on

SERIOUSLY! Why would you put anything about him being arrested on his post when he lost his child! I guess that’s what his family needs during this time in there life’s …to go online and see…Oh Jelani died …oh and did you know know that her dad went to jail a couple years ago for not taking care of her. Its so wrong. You guys have no idea what’s gone on in there lifes from 2003 til now

Sarah’s note: I assume Angela included it as it was part of the original news article in regards to his role as father. I will remove it, but that is the last change I’ll be making to the post. Please just scroll past if you’re not interested. I think I’ve made enough changes to the post that people are able to bypass it if they don’t want to read it on CBB.

Lissette on

that’s horrible. very sad news. I dont see anything wrong with posting this news on CBB. I might not have known about it otherwise and it does involve the child of a well known musician.

brannon on

I believe that by posting this information on this site you are indeed validating the fact that this little girl – a celebrity child like any other – was indeed loved. To ignore the story – tragic though it may be – would be to deem this child “unworthy.” If this was one of the children we regularly read about on here it would most certainly be posted. (I find it ironic that no one was appalled at the story of Heath Ledger’s tragic passing and he was not even a celeb child?)

In any case, my thoughts to the family and the world.

sinclair on

“Sorry, I’m with Stef on this one…we get enough of this kind of thing from CNN and the papers. Most of us come here to get away from that for a few minutes and read feel-good stories about celebs and their offspring. This is undoubtedly a horrific tragedy and it certainly sounds like the poor little thing didn’t get much happiness squeezed into those 4 brief years of hers, but I still don’t think this kind of thing should be reported here. I gotta say I was shocked to read this kind of thing at CBB…you all are very particular about comments made (which I’m personally thankful for btw) and have strict guidelines on the circumstances by which you will or will not report on a celeb…”

So Cindy I guess you’re saying CBB shouldn’t have reported on Heath Ledger’s death???

lis on

I just wanted to thank CBB for posting this. I am glad to see you cover the bad as well as the good.

This is so very, very sad. I can’t imagine the pain his family is going through right now.

Autumn on

This is tragic! Still as tragic as it is, I wonder if the young girls’ deaths were truly intentional or not? Could the teenage son have been having an argument with his mother (possibly over the gun?) and in the midst of it, the gun went off or the little girls got caught in the middle? Who knows? It’s just speculation.

Still though I suppose he could’ve plotted it, which is more horrible indeed.😦

yaosa on

Ditto to Aya,

Also, I don’t remember anyone commenting on CBB’s choice to post about the tragic loss of the Australian couple whose 10 month son rolled down an embankment in a jogging stroller and drowned while she was answering a cellphone ? (Congratulations to them as they recently welcomed a daughter) To those who are bothered by the story of Juvenile’s loss, what’s the difference ?

Losing a child is a tragedy no matter how it happens. I just wonder if the bothered posters are biased against rappers seeing them all as gangster anyway.

My grandmother used to say if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all. If you don’t like something on CBB keep moving, just scroll down.

I appreciate that CBB gives us so many choices for reading or not reading the posts. I like to be informed whether it is good news or bad news. And there are times that I am too bothered to make a comment but I still appreciate that the post is here. Keep up the good work CBB!

I am not familiar with Juvenile or his music and my thoughts go out to him and the surviving family members.

Kyah on

I am so disgusted right now. A little girl is dead, brutally murdered, and you’re complaining about CBB posting the news of this tragic death?
Did any of you post such horrible things when Hunter Tylo’s son died, or when Heath Ledger passed. He wasn’t even a celebrity baby! What about the Benoit tragedy?

If things like this disturb you so much, I’m sorry, but you need to realize that violence is a part of our world, a part that should not be, but it is reality. If you don’t want to hear about it, throw out your radios, your TV’s, your computers, your telephones and completely cut yourself off from the outside world, because that is the only way you will never hear of things like this. If I sound harsh I’m glad. Once again, A LITTLE GIRL IS DEAD, along with her SISTER AND MOTHER, and all you are doing is complaining about the news being posted on a site dedicated to bringing you news about celebrity babies.

And Sarah, I’m really sorry that you’ve had to go through this column countless times because of one comment and change so many things.

My heart goes out to the family, and to anyone and everyone else affected by this tragedy.

Kyah on

yaosa, I think you may be right about people having a bias, prejudice if you will, about Juvenile being a rapper. He’s still a person, a person who has lost his little girl. Has anyone thought about that?

Heather on

I don’t see why some of you are getting so upset that CBB posted the story. They’ve posted about the deaths of children before when they’ve drowned, been in car accidents, when Chris Benoit smothered his son, etc. and no one got upset then. As sad as it is, it is still news concerning a celebrity’s child. I commend you for posting the story CBB.

That being said, my condolences to Jelani’s family and friends, especially Juvenile. I can’t imagine the pain that he is going through right now. RIP little Jelani.

Dana on

My thoughts are with the family and friends of all involved. Like some other posters, I read about this situation the other day. The story is made even sadder when it is linked to someone in the public eye, and that the suspect is a family member (and a young one at that).

Chicki on

I always assumed that the reason CBB doesn’t post sad stories is out of respect for the women reading who might be expecting, and not wanting to cause anyone undue stress – that’s all. Like it or not, this is still news to be covered on this site and i appreciate the option of whether or not to read something potentially upsetting. That being said, I live in Atlanta and thought this was one of the saddest, most horrific stories I had EVER heard of before
I realized there was a celebrity aspect to it. May that mother and her two precious girls rest in peace.

Sarita on

I think you did the right thing posting this article CBB. It is news on a celeb baby, which makes it appropriate for the site.
Sometimes it seems like people don’t know how to scroll.

I hope they find out soon what exactly happened, it will help the family with their loss I believe.

J.J. on

Tragic and unbelievably devastating. My hearts and prayers go out to that little girl and her family. May God be with them so their souls can be cleansed from suffering…Rest in peace.

Melissa on

That is terrible. I feel so bad for the family.

I don’t understand some of the posters here. It is celebrity baby related. It may not be good news but it is news. If you don’t like it don’t click on the link. They didn’t post the story on the front page, no one made you click on the post and read it. Relax.

I love CBB and you are doing a great job!

Sarah’s note: Originally it was on the front, but since I changed it hopefully it’s not an issue anymore.

Me on

The loss of a human life is always sad and usually tragic to those closest to the deceased.. and even more upsetting when there’s a child (or more) involved. I live in Atlanta and haven’t kept up with the news, so this is news to me. I like how CBB posts both good and bad, because I know it’s a credible site and I can trust/believe what they post.

In any case, my condolences go out to the family. This is so tragic and so sad. I hope they can find some sort of comfort during this difficult time.

Hea on

Oh my… that is the saddest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Absolutely awful.

I don’t really understand why people object to this post. Yes, this site mostly covers feelgood stories. But life is not always feelgood. Life really truly sucks sometimes and I personally don’t think we should pretend it does not. People suffer through horrible things and one should not close his/her eyes on that.

My thoughts are with him and his. Nobody has been proven guilty yet though so I just hope they find the right perpetrator.

Colleen on

I’ve already commented about how sad this story is, however I wanted to thank CBB for posting this news story.

Stef on

You all are missing my point. I understand that news is news and this girl was the child of a celebrity.

My point is that I don’t understand the logic behind censoring comments that do little more than criticize a celeb’s life choices (i.e. we were all forbidden from commenting on the post announcing Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy) and I’ve had more than a few slightly snarky comments vetoed…all in the cause of keeping this place pleasant and respectful. At least, I assume that’s why.

Hence my confusion at seeing posted this kind of story —because what happened to that poor little girl is 10000000x more offensive than reading a comment by someone complaining about Aguilera’s cesarean or Jordan’s choice to bottle-feed. How are those comments unacceptable content while this murder is? I’m just utterly confused by this lop-sided censorship.

Sarah’s note: Of course the news is terrible and unpleasant. But we post the news once and that’s it, and I don’t think it was in any way disrespectful, or different than what another news site would post.

It’s not an on-going back and forth reader discussion/argument that needs to be moderated per what Danielle has set as rules for her site, which eventually blows up and/or gets closed because it’s taking up too much work time. That’s why we sometimes will not put comments on in the first place, or make specific notes.

Again, we never expected to get negative comments on this post when it went up and I’m still unsure why it took the direction it did. Already I’ve spent much more of my Saturday on it than I intended to. I really don’t know what else to say on the topic.

JillK on

My thoughts are with him and his family. This is so tragic, breaks my heart.


My heart is full of sorrow for the rapper, his family and friends. I couldn’t imagine going through anything like this. This is why we as parents need to get involved with our childrens lives in every way. We don’t have much time in this world so we need to make the most of it with our children. Juvenile is my favorite rapper and I share his pain with him. May God bless you. I will pray that you can get through this crisis.

Bridget Washington

Syracuse, New York

Carlie on

I don’t see anything wrong with CBB posting this to be honest – like someone said this site is about celebrity children – and just because they are celeb children,it doesn’t mean their lives are all happiness and light – it’s part of life.

I think the CBB staff have posted the news in a tactful manner and I don’t find it offensive being posted – I find the news terrible but cbb were only reporting what is obviously in a newspaper or on tv – so everyone will know about it somewhere along the line anywhere – should the radio/newspapers and tv stations be condemned for stating the news too?

The main headline of the post says exactly what the news is about – and if people don’t like reading it, simply move on to the next post.

Nad on

If killing a person would not have been a sin in my religion, I would kill all these people myself brutally who kill little innocent kids- But there is God who will punish them even if the country fails to punish them!

robin m. on

I read this story on CNN, but there was no mention of Juvenile. I wonder why they wouldn’t have mentioned that she was the child of a fairly well-known rapper??

Terralynn on

I am very sorry to see such a tragedy
I am sure that all of the victims are very loved and missed. Especially that poor little girl.
Although I cannot comprehend why this boy was so consumed with rage to hurt these innocent people
He obviously had some emotional problems to take things that far..My heart goes out to all of them.
I see nothing wrong with posting this any more than posting Heath Ledgers death or any other tragic news
I am glad for a change we are not seeing people griping over bottle feeding or pacifier use or Britney Spears choice of clothing..I think it is silly to think it was out of line to post this as opposed to some of the other silly discussions you sometimes see on here.
It is celebrity baby news.
Why should it not be posted on the Celebrity baby blog
She was obviously a celebrity baby too..
Thank you for giving readers a choice in what they want to read about..


Jennifer on

That is extremely upsetting news. Absolutely sad to hear it. May they all rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.

jaQ on

i’m so sorry for juvenile, so sorry.

and i’m disgusted by the controversy here. the poor children.

gargoylegurl on

In the couple years I have been visiting this site, I have always enjoyed the variety of articles posted here. Most of the stories are happy, but sometimes just like in everyday life, we read stories about a child’s illness, loss of a parent, or even worse, the loss of a child(ren). CBB has always done an excellent job of reporting celebrity baby/child related news in a balanced and professional manner.

What happened to this little girl is reality, it’s not an opinion, it really happened! Monitoring unkind comments has absolutely no correlation to reporting factual news. I don’t see any lop-sided censorship here at all!

lexi on

Oh my;; first of all my sincerest sympathies go to all family and friends in this difficult time.

second of all; why the attack on CB? if you have something negative to say- don’t say anything at all. Haven’t you ever seen Bambi? I recommend it to all.

Jay on

My condolences and prayers goes to Juvenile and his family/friends during this time. I read about this tragedy a couple of days ago and was shocked to learn that Juvenile was the father of one of the children. However, when I saw the article again today on CBB or lack thereof I was a little confused as to why some people found it so disturbing that it had to be taken down. The news was horrific and sad but I’ve seen a couple of articles of celebrity children passing away. This article wasn’t any different. Wonder why this story was any different to some of the CBB readers. And not only that, why are people bringing up the fact that Juvenile was arrested. What does that have to do with his child passing? You read an article of a child passing and the only thing someone can think of is the father’s past. We all have a past. No one’s perfect. And I agree with the person who mentioned Heath Ledger. His passing was horrific and there was drugs involved in that. I don’t remember anyone saying anything negative about his passing and how it’s disturbing and shouldn’t be posted on CBB. And like yaosa said, Heath wasn’t even a celebrity baby. And Kyah, you took the words out of my mouth. I agree with you 100%. I didn’t want to say it at first but there is some bias/prejudice since Juvenile is a rapper. If this was any other celebrity, there wouldn’t be so much backlash. I’m glad CBB did post the article and treated it like any other article regarding a celebrity child.

disgusted single mother on

why r u people sending condolences to Juvenile. He abandoned this 4 year old innocent child that did not ask to be here. He did not even have the common decency to support her even though he was able to afford it. I only sned my condolences to the woman and her children families. Maybe he is so upset be cause he cant handle the guilt. A guilty concience will kill u. To hell with Juvenile and may the slain victims rest in peace

Judyb on

My deepest sympathy to the family of this little girl.

If CBB did not post this story there would probably be people who would complain. CBB is in a “darned if you do darned if you don’t” position.

Cameron Lawler on

I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter and who done such crime. but God has a better place for her. Keep the good Lord in your life and your wombs will soon heal.

God Bless,
Cameron Lawler

joe Thomas Jr, on

Juve may God bless you and your family in these hard times. We love you man. Stay up.

Love the Thomas Family of
Lanham Md.

pisces1977 on

Wow… a person has got to be seriously disturbed to kill his own mother, and his two little sisters. My prayers to all those who have been effected by this horrific event. Peace and Blessings…

Mikki on

I live in Atlanta where this tragedy took place. The reason why it wasn’t originally stated that it was Juvenile’s daughter because the focus was more on the fact that a local sheriff’s deputy had been killed in her home along with her two daughters. It was only after the fact that it was discovered that the little girl was Juvenile’s daughter. And, it is quite odd to me that people would be upset about CBB posting the death of a celebrity’s child. Because there hasn’t been this type of response in the past when a death of a child was reported. I’d really hate to think all the commotion is because Juvenile is an African Afmerican rapper. Hmmmm…..

Jen on

How could anyone have a motive to kill a child? I just don’t understand this world we live in today. How horrible.

Al on

who cares? i dont.people die everyday and get killed everyday! no one would care if it was your kid.so fuck em!hahaha i think its funny.money cant buy happiness that proves it right there!and im sure the person who did it had a good ass reason..lmao

loymarie from rochester ny on

That’s terrible!!

My thoughts are with the family
i can’t not belive it is so scary to hear this news

nichole on


kyra on

My heart goes out to juvenile and family who had these three people taken away from them , i couldnt imagine that happening to my two year old daughter and me still keeping sane, God will be with this family and will bring them through this horrible tragedy, i will keep them in my prayers!

Nisha on

Our thoughts and prayers goes out to Juvenile and his family. May your family rest in peace.

Jennifer Parker on

OMG! I know it’s hard to get over this but continue to pray because even thoug all of these things are happening around you He is always going to be the one be side you to help strengthen you. We all say that things happen for a reason put this is just wrong. Keep praying and ask God to help you because I lost my daughter too last March and it was hard for me to see her go down in the ground. But in the bible it says that when something is taken away He will give it back. Keep your head up. Don’t forget what happened But try to stay strong if you can. I am so sorry about the tragedy. I send all of my love to your family. If it helps, I love you too and I like to see you at your strongest. You have done your best in life and this is not the end. Trust in God. If you need someone to talk to, email me anytime.

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters