A couple charged in connection with the high-profile murder of four-year-old D’Onya Bella Walker was yesterday denied bail.
Darion Smith, the 33-year-old boyfriend of the toddler’s mother, is charged with Bella’s murder after prosecutors alleged he inflicted injuries that resulted in her death on November 5.
Smith is also accused of child cruelty by permitting abuse that caused unnecessary suffering and injury to her health.
Bella’s mother, Ostonya Walker, is charged with exposing a child to grievous harm and child cruelty.
Bella died at Princess Margaret Hospital shortly after she was brought there in an unresponsive state. An autopsy lists the cause of death as blunt force trauma.
Since the charges arise out of the same facts, Smith and Walker will both be tried in the Supreme Court. As a result, they were not required to enter pleas to the charges.
Walker and Smith showed no emotion during their initial court appearance before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.
Smith, who had a bandage on his wrist, was neat, while his girlfriend appeared disheveled.
Prosecuting attorney Samantha Miah said she did not believe that the voluntary bill of indictment that will send the case to the Supreme Court would “realistically” be ready until the end of January.
However, Ferguson-Pratt said because the case had caused “such national concern” the DPP might want to expedite the case.
She said, “I would wish for it to have a December date, with a view that the matter might be fast-tracked in view of the nature and seriousness of the charges.”
The matter has been adjourned to December 17.
Attorney Barry Sawyer represented Walker, a clerk at the Registrar General’s Department. Smith did not have a lawyer.