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STATEMENT: Public defender releases statement in child murder case
bellah facing judge bell.jpg
Jennifer Bellah, 31, made her first appearance in a Newton County courtroom Thursday morning after her arrest Tuesday night in the shooting death of her 2-year-old daughter, Natalya. Flanked by attorney Anthony Carter of the Newton County Public Defender’s Office and Sgt. Freeman Moody of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Bellah listened as Magistrate Court Judge Melanie Bell explained her charges. - photo by Darryl Welch

COVINGTON, Ga. - Alcovy Judicial Circuit Chief Public Defender Anthony Carter released a statement Thursday morning concerning Jennifer Bellah, a mother accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. 

"In the weeks and days prior, including the day of the tragic death of her 2-year-old daughter, Natalya, Ms. Bellah sought and received treatment for mental health issues," Carter said in the statement. "Given Ms. Bellah's tenuous mental health, we commend the Newton County Sheriff's Department for outfitting her in a 'suicide suit,' a protective garment designed to prevent a person from harming themselves, while she is being held at the jail and during her first appearance this morning. 

"Mr. Carter's office will be fully investigating the mental health aspects of this case and their significance as they relate to the events of Tuesday, Aug. 28."

Carter was present during Bellah's first appearance in front of Alcovy Judicial Circuit Chief Magistrate Judge Melanie Bell Thursday morning in the Newton County Jail courtroom.