Cedar City mother pleads not guilty in toddler's death

Wednesday , April 25, 2018 - 10:37 AM

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) — A Cedar City woman charged in her 14-month-old daughter’s death has pleaded not guilty.

The Spectrum reports 24-year-old Cherokee Dea pleaded not guilty to murder, child abuse and child endangerment charges during an arraignment on Tuesday.

Dea’s boyfriend is also facing charges in the girl’s April 17 death.

An autopsy by the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office found that the toddler had previous injuries including multiple fractures and traces of morphine in her urine.

The office ruled the death a homicide.

Dea and her boyfriend said during a preliminary hearing that they regularly used heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine, but could not explain the child’s injuries or how she could have gotten morphine in her system when questioned by investigators.

Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com

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