Family of 17-month-old killed by uncle says they're trying to cope

The mother and father of a 17-month-old toddler killed at a family gathering are sharing their grief over what happened.

Police say Kentrell Patterson, 23, and Jerome Clark, 29, were arguing at a birthday party in an apartment complex on Avalon when Patterson was asked to leave.

Witnesses say he got into his car, put it in reverse and floored it, aiming at Clark.

The impact broke Clark's leg and killed Clark's 17-month-old daughter he was carrying. Police say Patterson sped away.

The child was transported to Crittenden Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Clark was transported to the hospital with injuries to his leg.

After Jerome Clark's injury, doctors pieced his broken leg back together but a broken heart is something even the best doctor can't fix.

'It's harder every day," says Clark.

Clark and his girlfriend, Christal Perry are trying their best to cope. Perry has been so distraught the past few days, she can hardly speak.

"I cry so much I can't cry no more. My voice is gone I cry so much but it ain't bringin' her back by crying," says Perry.

Perry and Clark have four other kids together- Jerkavian, Jermarion, Jerquisha, and Jermone - but it was Jerkala who was daddy's little girl.

"She's the only one I'd spoiled of all my kids," adds Clark.

Perry says she's trying to hea but it's memories that make it hard, "that little cookie commercial - don't you love me baby - she'd get in front of the tv and start dancing. She loved that commercial."

Perry says even still, she's focusing on forgiving Patterson for killing her baby but it's not easy when you have to pick out a coffin for a 17-month-old and explain to four brothers and sisters who it's for.

"I'll have to tell them something later. They gonna be wonderin' where she at," says Clark.

Clark says his only peace right now is knowing Jerkala isn't hurting as much as he is, "Jerkala's gone to better place don't have to worry about being hated on in the streets no more. She's gone to heaven," adds Clark.

Clark and Perry are in the process of looking for a new place to live. They say living at the crime scene is more than they can handle.

Patterson is in jail on bonds totaling $1.5 million.

Police say since Patterson he was trying to hurt Clark, under Arkansas law, he's charged with first degree murder for Jerkala's death.

Clcik here to email Blair Simmons.