Jaimie Nakail Whitney Beck, of Bartow County, and Michael John Naples, 31, of Woodstock, pleaded not guilty Friday on multiple charges, including felony murder, more than a year after the child died of head trauma, according to the Cherokee Clerk of Court’s Office.
Attorneys representing the two defendants could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Beck and Naples were arrested by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office in September, after an 11-month investigation into the October 2012 death of Beck’s daughter, Kaylee Rayne Elise Johnson, whose death an autopsy ruled a homicide.
They were indicted in December on multiple counts each, including felony murder, cruelty to children in the first degree, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
Beck and Naples are accused in the indictment of assaulting the child with their hands and an “unknown hard object,” between Oct. 13 and 14, 2012, the day she was found unresponsive at Naples’ house in Woodstock. They were also accused of breaking one of the toddler’s ribs sometime between July 1 and the day she was found, the indictment said.
At the time of the incident, police said the mother told them she had woken up in the night to get a glass of water when she saw her daughter lying at the bottom of a staircase in Naples’ house. Beck had been staying there, along with another 3-year-old daughter.
But an autopsy report in 2013 revealed the child’s injuries didn’t match up with a fall down a flight of stairs, police said.
Beck, who faces 11 counts in the case, was accused in the indictment of committing cruelty to children in the second degree, because she left her daughter to be supervised by Naples, knowing the toddler “had been injured previously” while he watched her.
Police records also show Naples has a history of being accused of violence.
No further court dates have been scheduled, according to the clerk of court’s office.