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Boyfriend appears in court Tuesday in killing of baby

Published On: Mar 01 2014 12:09:39 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 04 2014 07:31:33 PM CST
Cody Baker, Anna Steele arrested for infant death
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

On Tuesday afternoon Cody Baker appeared in the court for the first time.

He pleaded not guilty. Anna Steele waived her right to appear.

Steele's lawyer did talk to ABC 17 News stating that Steele is innocent.

"The prosecuting attorney is saying that she knew or should have known that abuse was occurring; therefore, that is felony child neglect. We disagree. She is saying she did not know the abuse was occurring," said Andrew Popplewell, Steele's lawyer.

The prosecuting attorney, Dan Knight, said Steele is charged with felony murder because of her connection with Finley's death because of abuse or neglect of a child.

According to court documents Baker told Steele he wanted more alone time with Finley to bond.

In this time he would put Finley to bed.

Steele told police she could hear crying through the baby monitor, but did not say anything to Baker about this because she was afraid of his reaction.

Police arrested Cody Baker, 31, Friday night and Anna Steele, 24, early Saturday morning.

Steele called 911 for an unresponsive eight-month-old around 2:50 a.m. Friday.

The child, Finely Steele, was taken from the home at 504 Woodridge Drive, but was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

According to a news release, an investigation revealed Steele died from physical trauma and not from natural causes.

"We don't want to give any details about any injuries and things like that because it could hurt the investigation," Bernhard said.

Baker and Steele were being held in the Boone County Jail Sunday night. Baker's bond was set at $2 million cash only. Steele's bond had been set at $1 million cash only.

Court documents Monday show that the autopsy performed on the child showed she died of massive blunt trauma to her head as well as being shaken.

In those documents it also shows that when police arrived on the scene there were several items with fresh blood on them.

Witnesses told police that a week before the child's death she had a large bruise across her face. Baker and Steele said that it was from her falling into the rail of the crib.

The night the child died, Baker said he woke up to her coughing, eventually putting Finely in the bed with him and Steele.

According to court documents Baker said that he dozed off and woke up to Finley pale and not breathing.

The autopsy shows that Finley did not die of natural causes, however.

Stay with ABC 17 News and abc17news.com for updates on this developing story.

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