Bond Denied for Stepmother Accused of Beating Toddler to Death

Everette Cawley, 24, and his wife, McKenna Belcher, 27, appear in a Miller County courtroom April 5, 2019

The father and stepmother of a 3-year-old that died from alleged child abuse injuries had their first court appearance Friday morning.

McKenna Cawley, the child’s stepmother, who has been charged with capital murder and domestic battery in the 2nd degree had bond denied by Judge Wren Autrey. The child’s father, Everette Cawley, who has been charged with 2 counts of permitting the abuse of a minor had bond set at $1 million. Both were appointed public defenders.

Early Tuesday morning Texarkana Arkansas Police responded to St. Michael’s hospital in reference to a toddler unresponsive with suspected injuries sustained by alleged abuse. After receiving initial treatment, the victim, a 3-year-old female, was transported, via helicopter, to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas due to extensive external and internal injuries where she passed away at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday.

According to police the investigation led detectives to an overwhelming amount of abuse of not only the deceased but also of her 2-year-old brother who is now in custody of the State of Arkansas.

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