CANTON — A police officer pleaded not guilty Friday to killing his pregnant girlfriend, whose corpse was found in a park and whose toddler son gave investigators some of their strongest clues.
Bobby Cutts Jr. could be sentenced to die if convicted in the deaths of Jessie Davis and her unborn daughter. He nodded at his parents and his pastor in the makeshift courtroom at the Stark County jail.
Davis’ disappearance in June drew national attention as thousands searched for her for more than a week near her northeast Ohio home. Her body, with a nearly full-term fetus, was found more than a week later about 25 miles away in a remote area of a park. Investigators believe Davis was killed June 14 in her home near North Canton but have not said how. Her mother found her 2½-year-old grandson alone in the home the next day. Bedroom furniture was toppled, and a pool of bleach was on the floor. He told authorities: “Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy’s in rug.”
Cutts is the boy’s father, and Davis’ family says he was also the father of the girl Davis had been due to deliver July 3. Cutts, 30, was indicted Thursday on counts of aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse, aggravated burglary and child endangerment.
“He’s presumed innocent just like any other defendant situated similarly,” said his attorney Fernando Mack. “He just wants people to pray for him.”
Myisha Ferrell, a high school classmate of Cutts, also pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of obstructing justice and complicity to abuse of a corpse. Prosecutors say she helped dispose of Davis’ body.
Trial was set for Sept. 18. Prosecutors declined to comment.