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Newton County seeks justice in infant’s death
Father appears in court, denied bond, refuses public defender

COVINGTON, Ga. - A Newton County man is facing multiple murder charges in a case that has taken the community by storm after a 15-day-old child was reported missing Saturday, Oct. 7 and found dead Sunday, Oct. 8.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The Covington News has received several questions from readers about the Caliyah C. McNabb murder investigation. The News reached out to the respective parties to get the answers.

The News: Does Newton County Sheriff’s Office anticipate any additional charges or arrests in this case?

NCSO Captain Keith Crum: Not at this time, but the investigation is ongoing.

The News: Do you know what hospital Caliyah C. McNabb was born in and when she was discharged after birth?

NCSO Captain Keith Crum: I do not have that information. As part of his investigation, the Coroner made contact with the hospital and subpoenaed birth medical records.

Newton County Coroner Tommy Davis: This is an active case. I cannot discuss any details of this case at this time.

The News: How premature was Caliyah C. McNabb delivered?

NCSO Captain Keith Crum: Two weeks

The News: When was the search warrant executed on the residence where Caliyah C. McNabb was last seen alive?

NCSO Captain Keith Crum: The Saturday she was reported missing.

The News: Was the scene secured at that time?

NCSO Captain Keith Crum: Yes

The News: Have there been any previous calls dispatched to this location?

NCSO Captain Keith Crum: The Covington/Newton 911 Center maintains dispatch records.

The News: Does NCSO believe that Christopher Michael McNabb acted alone?

NCSO Captain Keith Crum: Christopher McNabb is the only person we have probably cause to charge at this time, but the investigation is ongoing.

The News: Does NCSO believe that Christopher Michael McNabb planned the murder of Caliyah C. McNabb?

NCSO Captain Keith Crum: That is not known at this point in the ongoing investigation.

The News: Are Christopher Michael McNabb’s court appearances over until after the Grand Jury, or will he have any appearances in Superior Court before they meet?

Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Layla Zon: The only potential court date that could occur before arraignment would be a bond hearing.

The News: Have you made the decision as to who will prosecute the case?

Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Layla Zon: I will prosecute the case.

The News: Is it possible to determine the time of death or how long Caliyah C. McNabb had been in the spot where she was found?

Newton County Coroner Tommy Davis: This is an active case. I cannot discuss any details of this case at this time.

The News: Have there been any previous 911 calls dispatched to the 12145 31 Highway 26, Covington GA 30014 residence?

Crystal Marks, Covington-Newton 911 Center: I’ve attached two calls we have received from that address and lot number this year. I’m not sure of the exact date that family started living at this address, however, it doesn’t appear that it was any earlier than this year.  The first of the two attached calls show a complaint on Aug. 22 for property damage with a neighbor called claiming Lot 31 tenants were busting windows out of the home. The second was recorded Oct. 3  and the complainant reported "she let her two year old daughter and newborn spend the night with her cousin at Eagle Point. The complainant's parents went to the mobile home park and picked up both kids and took them without the compaintant's permission. Complainant was able to get her two year old daughter out of the vehicle but her parents did take the newborn to 65 Loudon Circle."

Christopher Michael McNabb appeared in front of Judge Melanie Bell for his first appearance in the Newton County Jail Courtroom Thursday morning. In the hearing, he was denied bond and refused to fill out paperwork for a public defender.

Warrants were served on McNabb Wednesday in the Newton County Jail after autopsy reports came back finding that the cause of death for his daughter, Caliyah C. McNabb, was blunt force head trauma and the manner of death was homicide. Christopher McNabb was being held in the jail on a probation violation warrant out of Bartow County.

In the warrants, Newton County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jeff Alexander reported McNabb hit Caliyah McNabb with an "unknown object." Alexander also reported, "This action did cause the victim's skull to be seriously disfigured and damaged beyond repair. This act further caused the death of the victim."

According to the warrants, McNabb attempted to conceal the body with a t-shirt, blanket and a draw-string bag in the woods not far from the residence where the death took place. 

Caliyah McNabb was reported missing Saturday around 10 a.m. in a 911 call by her mother, Cortney Marie Bell.

In the recording, Bell told the dispatcher that her two-year-old daughter woke Christopher McNabb and her up around 10 a.m. to tell her Caliyah McNabb was missing. Bell reported last seeing her daughter around 5 a.m. for a feeding.

Bell can also be heard yelling for her daughter and said Christopher McNabb was searching around the mobile home park for the child. 

More than 24 hours later, Caliyah McNabb’s body was located in the woods behind the residence in which she was last seen.

Both Cortney Bell and Christopher McNabb were in a vehicle with family members when the news of Cailyah McNabb’s body being located broke. Christopher McNabb reportedly jumped out of the vehicle at the intersection of Highway 36 and the Covington Bypass and fled on foot.

Later that evening, he was apprehended and arrested when 911 callers spotted him at a gas station on Highway 36. According to the 911 calls, Christopher McNabb was reportedly yelling “I didn’t do it.” He was alone at the time of his arrest and transported to the jail on the probation violation warrant.

Currently, NCSO does not have probable cause to arrest anyone else in the incident, but ensure that it is an ongoing investigation.

Christopher McNabb’s charges will have to be indicted by the grand jury of Newton County. The grand jury’s next meeting will be the first Friday of November.

Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Layla Zon told The Covington News she would be the one to prosecute Christopher McNabb’s case. 

McNabb mugshots

Christopher Michael McNabb’s criminal history

Through open records requests, The Covington News has obtained incident reports from the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and Newton County Sheriff’s Office for Christopher Michael McNabb.

McNabb tallies 16 charges in 2007 Bartow County arrest

According to the BCSO, Christopher Michael McNabb has been arrested multiple times on probation violations stemming from a 2007 incident. 

BCSO Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said McNabb was first arrested in 2007 on 16 charges including three burglary, five theft by taking, four criminal trespass, three criminal damage to property (second degree) and one entering an automobile to commit a theft.

He has since been arrested in 2011 and April 2017 for charges of violation of probation. Rogers confirmed the current outstanding probation violation warrant that NCSO arrested McNabb on Sunday evening. 

The Covington News has filed a request for the incident reports of all of McNabb's arrests with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office, which Rogers said could take "several days" to fulfill. 

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections website, McNabb was last released from the Macon State Prison on Sept. 2, 2016. 

FCSO makes arrest in 2011

After witnessing McNabb drive the wrong way down a one-way street, a FCSO deputy attempts a traffic stop on Aug. 2, 2011. McNabb did not stop after the officer turned on his emergency lights, and started a pursuit.

During the pursuit, the vehicle driven by McNabb, which was stolen from his father, hit a curb and the left front tire was flattened. McNabb continued to flee and eventually stopped in a parking lot and fled on foot.

Nearly two hours after the initial traffic stop was initiated, deputies located McNabb and he was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license, driving on wrong side of roadway, speeding, stop sign violation, failure to maintain lane and felony fleeing.

Coweta charges tie with Fayette incident

The CCSO confirmed a 2011 arrest of McNabb in an incident involving a vehicle pursuit in his father's 2007 Ford Escape. 

According to the incident report, McNabb had only been out of prison for five weeks and his father was hoping he "would straighten his life up," when he stole the vehicle and it was later involved in an incident in Fayette County.

McNabb arrested in 2013 for shoplifting in Covington

While responding to another incident, a NCSO deputy was approached by a CVS employee claiming McNabb had just left the store, located at the intersection of Highway 36 and the Covington Bypass, after shoplifting.

Once caught, McNabb provided the wrong name to the deputy before confirming his real identity. Once his real name was provided, an active warrant out of Fayette County was returned.

All of the stolen items totaled $164.23.

McNabb was charged with shoplifting, giving false name or information to a law enforcement officer. A hold was also placed on his warrant.

McNabb cited for incident in Fayette County Jail in 2013

On Dec. 8, 2013, McNabb was charged with obstruction after failing to follow an order by a Fayette County Jail officer.

The officer reportedly told McNabb to gather his things and enter a cell to be placed on lockdown. McNabb refused.

While the officer approached McNabb and attempted to gain control of him, he pulled away and turned away, causing an officer to lose balance. McNabb was tackled to the floor and placed in handcuffs before being escorted out of the unit.

McNabb nabbed when NCSO searching for another man

On Oct. 1, 2014, NCSO was serving an arrest warrant on another man when McNabb fled the scene when deputies arrived. Once caught, McNabb told the deputies he had five felony warrants out of other counties. Warrants came back from Coweta County and Fayette County.

While running after McNabb, a tree hit one of the deputies in the face, causing a cut on his eyelid.

McNabb was charged with willful obstruction of law enforcement officers by use of threats or violence, obstruction or hindering law enforcement officers, simple battery on an officer and terroristic threats and acts.

Christopher Michael McNabb first appearance

By: Jackie Gutknecht

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