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This is the first holiday season for Linda Craine since her daughter, Jackie, was killed in what’s said to be a case of domestic violence.
Thanksgiving brought about some sad moments for Linda Craine, and the same is expected for Christmas.
But through the times of sorrow, the family is moving forward with matters involving Jackie’s youngest child.
On Monday, Nov. 26, Linda Craine was granted temporary custody of her 5-year-old granddaughter, Ja’kira Diago, during a family court hearing in Lancaster.
Ja’kira had already been living with her grandmother. Monday’s court decision will allow Linda Craine to handle all affairs regarding Ja’kira, such as medical appointments.
“It feels good to get temporary custody,” she said.
Linda Craine said she had been working on getting custody for several months. She credits fellow Lancaster resident Erica Simpson for helping her through the process.
“I’m there for moral support,” said Simpson, who attended Monday’s hearing.
Simpson and Jackie Craine were friends who had known each other since middle school.
Following Craine’s death, Simpson helped spearhead an effort to collect cell phones to benefit victims of domestic violence.
Linda Craine said it could take up to a year or longer for her to receive permanent custody of Ja’kira. In the meantime, she’s bracing herself for hearings and court dates for James Enrico Diago, who’s accused of killing Jackie Craine. Diago was Craine’s estranged boyfriend and is Ja’kira’s father.
Linda Craine said she dreads the trial.
“I don’t want to go through it,” she said. “I just want them to give him his sentence and it be over with.”
A 1996 Lancaster High School graduate, Jackie Craine had moved to Fort Mill from Lancaster about three years before her death.
On a January 2012 morning, police found Craine sitting in her SUV in the parking lot of an apartment complex near her home, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head. Her 16-year-old son, who was nearby, was shot in the knee, according to reports.
Jackie Craine died later that day at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill.
Diago was arrested shortly afterward.
Diago, who remains jailed, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a viollent crime and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon in her death.
Like Jackie Craine, Diago is a former Lancaster resident.
Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152