Christopher McNabb, left, and Cortney Bell pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the death of their 2-week-old daughter.

Newton parents plead not guilty to murder of their infant daughter

The parents accused of killing their 2-week-old daughter pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon in a Newton County courtroom.

Christopher McNabb, 27, and Cortney Bell, 24, both wore civilian clothes for their arraignment instead of their jail-issued uniforms. The hearing lasted less than five minutes before the two were led back to their cells, where both are being held without bond on murder charges.

McNabb and Bell, who also have a 3-year-old daughter together, are accused of killing their newborn in October, according to investigators. Little Caliyah McNabb died from blunt force trauma to the head and her manner of death was ruled a homicide, an autopsy determined.

On Oct. 7, Bell called 911 to report the newborn missing from the family’s mobile home.

“My 2-week-old is not in her sleeper. She’s not here,” Bell told the operator. “I’ve looked everywhere. I’ve looked under clothes and everything.”

Deputies and others in the Covington community assisted with the search for the baby. But the following day, Caliyah’s body was found in the woods near her home.

McNabb, who pleaded publicly for his daughter to be returned, was later arrested and charged with murder. Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted him on eight charges, including malice murder, felony murder, second-degree murder, aggravated battery, cruelty to children and concealing the death of another.

McNabb is accused of “maliciously causing said Caliyah McNabb cruel and excessive physical pain by inflicting blunt force trauma upon said child to her head,” the indictment states.

The same grand jury also indicted Bell with second-degree murder, cruelty to children and child deprivation charges. She was arrested Jan. 6.

McNabb and Bell are scheduled for their next court appearances on April 10.

Father of 2-Week-Old Found Dead In Woods Charged With Murder

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