July 17, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Aunt testifies defendant was in bed with 5-year-old Detroit girl before she disappeared

Detroit — Graphic details about the final hours of the life of 5-year-old Mariha Smith were given by her aunt Thursday during the trial of the man accused of her torture, abuse and murder three years ago.

Quanita Smith testified that she saw Darnell Cheatham, her former boyfriend and father of two of her children, in bed with the little girl.

Smith, who said she had been drinking and smoking marijuana, says she went back to sleep after seeing the little girl on top of Cheatham, who wasn’t wearing underwear.

“I woke up. I saw Mariha on top of Darnell,” she testified. “He was moving Mariha.”

Later, around 3:30 a.m. July 24, 2011, the child was discovered missing from the family’s home on Burlingame.

A few hours later Mariha’s body was discovered at the scene of a fire on Waverly Street, a few miles from the family home.

Cheatham was formally charged in the child’s murder last October.

Mariha's mother Konesha Smith is Quanita Smith’s sister.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Ulysses Boykin is presiding over the jury trial.

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