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Cleveland teen uses brutal murder of 5-year-old sister as motivation to graduate high school

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 8:50 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - After witnessing the brutal murder of his 5-year-old sister, a Cleveland teenager is preparing to graduate high school on Tuesday.

Ta’Naejah McCloud was beaten to death by her own mother, Tequila Crump and Crump’s partner, Ursula Owens.

Owens’ son, Rayvon Owens, was 15-years-old and became the key witness in the two women’s trial.

They were both convicted and sent to prison.

“When all this happened, I felt like I wasn’t going to make it,” Rayvon said. “I felt like I wouldn’t get through school.”

But now, he’s flourishing and living on the east side with his guardians and preparing to graduate from John Adams High School.

“I know she would be proud. I know she’s proud right now,” he said of his sister. “It’s been a struggle but I’m glad I made it.”

Owens told 19 News he uses the memory of Ta’Naejah as his motivation in everything he does. He hopes to be a social worker.

“To make sure no more kids fail under [Child Protective Services],” he said of his future plans. " I know sometimes kids feel like they want to quit, but [if they] keep on pushing, it’ll pay off in the end.”

Owens plans to attend the University of Akron next year.

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