Miller County prosecutors to seek death penalty in murder of toddler


TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Prosecutors in Miller County, Arkansas, say they will seek the death penalty against a Texarkana woman charged in the death of her 3-year-old stepdaughter.

The child died April 2 after staff at St. Michael’s Hospital discovered injuries that were so severe, she had to be airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Police say their investigation led them to believe the child suffered an overwhelming amount of abuse, along with her 2-year-old brother.  An autopsy report shows she died of severe internal organ damage.

During an appearance Tuesday in court, lawyers for McKenna Belcher entered a not guilty plea. Belcher is charged with capital murder and second-degree domestic battery in the death of McKinley Cawley.

McKinley’s father, Everette Cawley, is charged with permitting the abuse of a minor.

Belcher is being held without bail. Cawley’s bail is set at $1 million. Both are being held in the Miller County jail.

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