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McNabb, Bell trial to be continued
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Christopher Michael McNabb and Cortney Marie Bell

COVINGTON, Ga. - The parents accused of murder in the October 2017 death of 15-day-old Caliyah C. McNabb will spend more time in the Newton County Jail after a motion to continue the trial was filed by Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Layla Zon this week.

Christopher Michael McNabb is charged with eight counts related to the death, including malice murder, two counts felony murder, murder in the second degree and aggravated battery, cruelty to children in the first degree, cruelty to children in the second-degree and concealing death of another. Cortney Marie Bell is also charged in the death with second-degree murder, cruelty to children and contributing to the deprivation of a minor.

The joint trial was set to start Aug. 13, but an unexpected medical issue and new evidence have pushed the date.

According to the motion, “the state’s prosecutor on the indictment and lead investigator from the sheriff’s office has notified the district attorney of a serious and complicated medical procedure that will be performed upon his spouse in approximately two weeks.”

Also delaying the trail, information was recently provided to investigators in the case from two jailed inmates, according to Zon's filing.

“The information provided led to an investigative act of potential evidence being collected on Tuesday of this week,” according to the motion. “That evidence is being sent to the crime lab for testing. Even with a request to expedite the testing of this evidence, it is highly unlikely that the results will be available before the scheduled week of trial.

“Since this new information must be properly vetted to either further inculpate one of the defendants or exonerate said defendant of this particular claim, it is in the interest of justice to continue this case to allow time for the testing to be completed.”

As of Wednesday’s date, Alcovy Judicial Circuit Chief Judge John M. Ott’s trial calendar for Aug. 13 still listed McNabb and Bell, but Zon confirmed with The Covington News the case would be continued despite the calendar.

“The alleged crimes occurred in October of 2017 so the cases are not even one-year-old at the time of this request,” according to the motion. “Therefore, the state contends that a continuance would not unnecessarily delay the defendant’s right to a speedy trial and is in the interest of justice.”

McNabb is represented by Anthony Carter, chief public defender for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit. Bell is represented by Bryan Frost who was appointed as a conflict attorney.