All photos courtesy of the AJC.
COVINGTON, Ga. - A jury of Newton County residents found the parents of 15-day-old Caliyah McNabb guilty on all counts in the murder of their daughter.
Christopher Michael McNabb, the father, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, plus 10 years on all eight counts, which include malice murder, two counts of felony murder, second-degree murder, aggravated battery, first-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children and concealing the death of another.
Cortney Marie Bell, the mother, was sentenced to 30 years, with 15 to serve on all three of her charges. Those charges include second-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to children and contributing to the deprivation of a minor.
Immediately after Judge John M. Ott read the jury's verdict and surveyed each juror, McNabb responded in an outburst to the court.
"It was a setup from the beginning, I think it was a setup that's all I'm saying," he said as the jurors were exiting the courtroom. "The whole thing was a setup, that's all I'm saying. I'm just stating my views, that's all."
Ott ordered both McNabb and Bell out of the court as the jurors left and they returned separately for their sentencing.
"Just because somebody has domestic abuse situations with their spouse, doesn't mean they'd put their hands on their kid," McNabb told the judge.
Ott asked McNabb what he thought someone who committed this crime deserved as punishment, and his response was clear.
"If you ever find out who did it, they should be under the jail," he said.
In regards to Bell, Ott explained his sentencing by breaking down her parenting style.
"For you to go around chasing McNabb, doing meth flies in the face of what any normal mother would do," he said. "You hear stories out everywhere of the mother bear that's so ferocious. Why? Because you're messing with their child. All those kind of things and you chose methamphetamine and McNabb over a baby."
Bell said she tried.
"It's a sickness, but I tried to be a good momma," she said. "I love my babies."
Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Layla Zon and Assistant District Attorney Alex Stone are argued the state’s case, while Public Defender Anthony Carter and appointed conflict attorney Bryan Frost represented McNabb and Bell respectively.
The Covington News reached out to all three attorneys for comments following the verdict. We will continue to update this story as information is received.