CANTON - A police officer accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and her fetus made his first court appearance yesterday and was ordered held on $5 million bond.
Bobby Cutts, Jr., 30, stood behind a window separating him from the courtroom, with his girlfriend's family a few feet away, as a judge reviewed the case.
Jessie Davis, 26, was missing for about a week before her body was found Saturday in a park. Officer Cutts is the father of her 2-year-old son, and Ms. Davis' relatives have said he is the father of the fetus she was due to deliver July 3.
Ms. Davis' mother, Patricia Porter, stood in the front row of the courtroom and stared at Officer Cutts.
Ms. Porter held the hand of daughter Whitney Davis while glaring at the suspect.
They made eye contact at one point, Ms. Porter said later.
"I'm not sitting down when I see Bobby Cutts," she said. "I can't really verbalize what was going through my mind, but I wanted to make sure he knew I was there."
Ms. Porter stood again when one of Officer Cutts' former high school classmates appeared in front of the judge.
Myisha Ferrell, 29, is accused of lying to investigators about the case. She was ordered held on $500,000 bond.
Officer Cutts' attorney, Bradley Iams, declined to discuss details of the charges against his client or anything Officer Cutts said during the court appearance. He said it was too early to say whether a trial would have to be moved out of Stark County, and that he was not surprised by the bond amount.
A man who described himself as Officer Cutts' uncle left the courtroom complaining the family was shoved into a far corner farthest from the window.
Moments before the defendants appeared, three reporters were asked to move so the Davis family could sit in the center of the courtroom.
The uncle said Officer Cutts' family members were the only black people there.
"That's American justice," he said. "We are suffering. We're related to the little baby too."
Officer Cutts, arrested Saturday, is accused of killing Ms. Davis and the fetus June 14 at her home in nearby Lake Township.
Ms. Davis' mother last spoke to her daughter on June 13.
Ms. Davis was reported missing after the mother found her 2-year-old grandson home alone, with bedroom furniture toppled and bleach spilled on the floor. The boy, Blake, gave investigators some of their first clues, saying: "Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in rug."
Family members have told Blake that his mother is in heaven, Ms. Porter said.
"Blake is doing as well as can be expected for a 2 1/2-year-old whose mom is not coming home," Ms. Porter said.
Ms. Davis' body was found nine days after authorities believe she was killed.
Determining the cause of death will take weeks because of advanced decomposition, the medical examiner's office said yesterday. The office will test the paternity of the fetus and conduct toxicology and DNA tests and a skeletal analysis.
Ohio law allows a murder charge against someone accused of killing a fetus that would have been able to live outside the womb.
Authorities have not said what led them to Ms. Davis' body, about 25 miles from her home, in an area of a park.
Thousands of volunteers searched for Ms. Davis for several days around her home.
The sheriff's office, which is leading the investigation, has not released further information about the obstruction of justice charge against Ms. Ferrell, who was arrested Sunday.
Officer Cutts is married and has a daughter with his wife. He has said he and his wife are separated and she knew about his relationship with Ms. Davis.
Mr. Iams said Officer Cutts was suspended without pay yesterday by the Canton police department.
Officer Cutts has a 9-year-old daughter with another woman, Nikki Giavasis, who now lives in Los Angeles. The two lived together for a while, but when she began seeing another man in 1998, Officer Cutts was accused of breaking into her home while she was inside with former NBA player Shawn Kemp of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Officer Cutts pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to three years of probation. Ms. Giavasis told police she feared for her safety. The pair are involved in a custody dispute.
Ms. Giavasis said they were together about four months and confrontations began after she broke off their relationship. Ms. Giavasis said the two had several physical confrontations.