The father of Alianna DeFreeze, the 14-year-old girl who was killed and left in an abandoned Cleveland building, lashed out on social media at controversial Cleveland Heights Pastor Darrell Scott, accusing him of trying to use his daughter’s death as a “publicity stunt.”
Damon DeFreeze wrote in a Facebook post that Scott refused to allow the family to hold Alianna’s funeral at his church’s event center after the family told him they did not want Scott to speak at the services.
“I am in no way involved with New Spirit and that I don’t want him speaking at my services,” the post says. “He says if I can’t speak they can’t have it there.”
Scott denied the accusation in a phone interview with cleveland.com. He said there was never a verbal or written agreement for the family to hold the funeral at the center. He also said that he never spoke with the DeFreeze family.
“I wasn’t ever going to go to the funeral,” Scott said. “I was going to send flowers and a donation.”
The family and their funeral home initially said the services would be held Saturday at the New Spirit Revival Center.
But Alianna’s cousin, Heather Hall, said they were unable to get money from a GoFundMe account until Wednesday and that the church eventually said they did not have enough staff members to open the center for the funeral.
The wake and funeral will now be held at noon Saturday at the Imani Temple Ministries in Cleveland Heights. Thomas Boyd, the operations director at Imani Temple, said they are providing the church and services to Alianna’s family for free.
“That’s what we do as a church,” Boyd said. “When the community needs us, we’re there for them.”
Attempts to reach Damon DeFreeze were not immediately successful, but Hall confirmed he made the post.
“I refuse to let this pathetic man use our baby’s funeral for political gain,” Damon DeFreeze’s post said.
Source: Cleveland.com | Adam Ferrise