Man accused of killing 8-month-old pleads not guilty

Monday, May 19, 2014 | 5:47 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Cody Baker, 31, pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon to second-degree murder in the death of 8-month-old Finley Steele.

Baker and his girlfriend, Anna Steele, 24, are both accused of second-degree murder for the death of Steele's daughter on Feb. 28, according to previous Missourian reporting.

A probable cause statement filed March 1 in the 13th Circuit Court showed that Finley Steele died from shaking and massive blunt trauma to the head.

Baker is being held on $2 million bail at the Boone County Jail.

Steele posted $25,000 bail and is under 24-hour house arrest and around-the-clock GPS tracking at her parents residence.

Steele is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Boone County Courthouse.

Following Finley's death, Steele told police she noticed "a pattern of injuries and behavior" after Baker moved in with her at her parents home in January, according to previous Missourian reporting. She said she was suspicious he might be hurting the baby, but was afraid of confronting him.

Tracey Steele, Anna Steele's mother, corroborated her daughter's statements and said she had also noticed a bruise on her granddaughter's face a week or two before Finley's death.

Supervising editor is Samuel Hardiman.

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