Mom speaks as trial begins for the murder of her 8-year-old daughter

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The trial is set to begin on Friday morning in the murder of an 8-year-old Houston girl.

De'Maree Adkins was killed while sitting in the backseat of her mother's car.

On the morning of Feb. 25, 2017, Latoyia Jarmon-Thomas was heading home.

READ MORE: Gunman opens fire on car after crash, kills 8-year-old
EMBED More News Videos

A mother grieves after daughter is shot and killed following a car crash.

Her daughter, De'Maree, was asleep in the backseat.

Latoyia had a green light and was headed thorough the intersection.

Police say that suddenly, a white Pontiac Grand Prix ran a red light near Fuqua and the Beltway, hitting her car.

"I turned to her and I said, 'De'Maree'. She said, 'Yes mommy. What happened?' I said, 'We had a car accident. Are you okay?' She said, 'Yes mommy,' and went right back to sleep," she said.

Minutes later, another Pontiac Grand Prix pulled up. Police say this one was driven by Jacobe Payton.

READ MORE: Man accused in murder of 8-year-old girl claims he is being held illegally
EMBED More News Videos

The man accused of the vicious murder of an 8-year-old girl says he's being held in jail illegally.

"I'm thinking that they're stopping to assist us," said Latoyia. But police say instead, Payton started shooting.

The driver of the car that hit Latoyia, told police he had just been at the club with Payton and they were heading home.

He said Payton later confided in him saying, "I don't know what happened, I just started shooting."

"When the first bullet hit, it hit the back passenger window and I told her to stay down. And the bullets just kept coming and coming and coming," she said. "And those last two bullets were the bullets that hit her."

Almost three years later and every day is still a challenge.

"When people say that you lose a child, how it leaves a gaping hole in your heart. It's still there," she said.

Latoyia looks at videos that her daughter recorded often, just to hear her voice and see her face.

While she can't have her back, she can get justice.

"I hope that there's a guilty verdict. I'm holding on to my faith. All I can do is pray and hold onto my faith. God hasn't let me down yet."

Follow Marla Carter on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.