COVINGTON, Ga. - After a hearing Tuesday, The Covington News has been granted the privilege to live stream and photograph the trial of accused murders Christopher Michael McNabb and Cortney Marie Bell.
The News filed a Rule 22 request March 29 asking to bring camera equipment and other technology into the courtroom to take photographs and provide live stream coverage of the trial.
Representing McNabb, Anthony Carter, chief public defender for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit, raised the stipulation to the request that live streaming would not be able to start until after jury selection had ended and jurors could not be shown in photographs or video of the trial's coverage. All parties agreed and Chief Circuit Judge John M. Ott granted the request.
The News is the only media outlet that has filed a request to bring cameras into the courtroom as of Tuesday's hearing, according to a statement made in court by District Attorney Layla Zon.
The News plans to live stream the trial on its Facebook page starting with opening arguments. Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday, May 6 and opening arguments will follow after that selection is made.
McNabb and Bell are the parents accused of killing their 15-day-old daughter.
McNabb faces charges of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, murder in the second degree, aggravated battery, first-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children and concealing the death of another.
Bell faces charges of murder in the second degree, second-degree cruelty to children and contributing to the deprivation of a minor.
Zon and Assistant District Attorney Alex Stone will argue the case. McNabb is represented by Carter, while Bell is represented by Bryan Frost who was appointed as a conflict attorney.
On Oct. 7, 2017, Bell called 911 to report her daughter was missing from her bedroom. The following day, the body of Caliyah C. McNabb was located in a wooded area next to the trailer park where the family lived.
McNabb was arrested a few hours after the discovery of the body on a probation violation out of Bartow County. Warrants were issued for McNabb on the murder charges three days later after autopsy results determined the cause of death to be blunt force head trauma and manner of death to be homicide.
Bell was indicted by the Grand Jury of Newton County in January and apprehended Jan. 7 in Rockdale County on charges related to the death.
The duo was arraigned on the charges Jan. 23 in front of Ott.