Police officer held in death of girlfriend

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CANTON, Ohio (AP) — A police officer accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and her nearly full-term fetus made his first court appearance yesterday and was ordered held on $5 million bond.

Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, was expressionless as a judge reviewed his case. He stood behind a window separating him from the courtroom, with his girlfriend’s family seated a few feet away.

Jessie Davis, 26, was missing for about a week before her body was found Saturday in a park. Mr. Cutts is the father of her son, and Miss Davis’ relatives say he is the father of the baby girl she was due to deliver July 3 and name Chloe.

Miss Davis’ mother, Patricia Porter, stood in the front row of the courtroom and stared at Mr. Cutts as he surveyed the audience.

“I’m not sitting when I see Bobby Cutts,” she said. “I wanted to make sure he knew I was there.” She stood again when one of Mr. Cutts‘ former high school classmates appeared in front of the judge.

Myisha Ferrell, 29, is accused of lying to investigators about the case. She was ordered held on $500,000 bond.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation, said in an affidavit filed Sunday that Mr. Cutts is accused of killing Miss Davis and the fetus June 14 at her home in nearby Lake Township. The document does not say how she was killed.

Ohio law allows a murder charge against someone accused of killing a fetus that would be able to live outside the womb.

Miss Davis was reported missing after her mother found Miss Davis’ son home alone, with bedroom furniture toppled and bleach spilled on the floor. The boy, Blake, gave investigators some of their first clues, saying: “Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy’s in rug.”

Miss Davis’ body was found nine days after authorities believe she was slain. Determining the cause of death will take weeks because of advanced decomposition, the medical examiner’s office said yesterday. The office will conduct a paternity test on the fetus, as well as toxicology and DNA tests and skeletal analyses.

Miss Ferrell, 29, was arrested and jailed Sunday. She is held on suspicion of giving false statements to investigators, according to an inmate biography form.

Yesterday, Miss Davis’ father, Ned Davis, thanked the volunteers who helped search for his daughter and said he was overwhelmed with grief.

“It’s been, at best, it’s been very, very difficult,” Mr. Davis said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I don’t believe I can really quantify what our family’s feeling.”

“The loss of Jessie has been overwhelming. There are no words,” he said.

Sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents with a search warrant broke down the door of Miss Ferrell’s apartment Saturday night, agent Scott Wilson said. She was not home during the search.

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