By Melissa Chan
July 3, 2016

The grandmother of a 7-year-old Memphis boy who escaped an attack by his mother that left four of her other children stabbed to death said Saturday that she forgives the woman for the quadruple homicide.

Sonya Clayton, who is the grandmother of Dallen Clayton, said she was sickened and has not been able to eat or sleep since she found out her former daughter-in-law, Shanynthia Gardner, allegedly killed four of her children by cutting their throats Friday, USA Today reports.

“She was a sweet young lady,” Clayton said of Gardner, according to the newspaper. “What happened, I don’t understand. I forgive her. I know this was not her. I know this was the work of the devil. I love Shanynthia wholeheartedly still.”

Gardner, 29, faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder while committing aggravated child neglect, the Associated Press reports. The victims were identified as 4-year-old Tallen Gardner; 3-year-old Sya Gardner; 2 year-old Sahvi Gardner; and 6-month old Yahzi Gardner. Dallen Clayton, Gardner’s son from a previous marriage, safely fled the apartment during the attack, according to the AP.

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