VALPARAISO — Bond was set Monday morning at $100,000 surety and $5,000 cash for a Portage woman charged in connection with the death of her 20-month-old daughter and injuries to two of her other children.
Tamika Conley, 23, said little during her initial court appearance before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.
Her co-defendant, Gary Hanney, 29, who is charged with causing the child's death and injuring the others, was also brought over from the jail in leg and hand shackles.
Hanney opted to hold off on his bond being set until after he has had a chance to meet with his attorney and a hearing is held.
Both of the accused were given the services of court-appointed attorneys after claiming not to have any money or property.
Doctors said the deceased 20-month-old girl had "multiple bruises on her body, and had no brain function" upon arriving at the hospital Tuesday night, according to police.
Hanney told police the baby fell from a bed at their residence in the Camelot Manor Estates mobile home park after Hanney "plopped" down on the mattress.
Hanney said that 30 to 45 minutes before he called 911 for help, the baby began "breathing weird, with shallow breaths and only breathing every 20 seconds," according to charging information. He said the baby was unresponsive and "like a limp noodle" when he decided to call her mother and his fiancee, Conley, who was at work.
The baby was transported by helicopter to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and died shortly before 7:30 a.m. Friday, according to Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Tammy Gregg.
Conley's 4-year-old daughter was found to have bruising to her left eye, left cheek and left ear, according to police. The 6-year-old boy had bruising to his left eye, a broken blood vessel in his eye and "severe patterned bruising on his back."
Conley chatted with a fellow female inmate before the start of Monday's court hearing and Hanney was quiet while seated apart with the other male inmates.
Pleas of not guilty were entered on behalf of both and each were required to sign orders prohibiting them from having contact with the two surviving children, who are reportedly in foster care.
Hanney is charged with aggravated battery resulting in death, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, three counts of battery and maintaining a common nuisance. The first two charges carry a potential penalty each of between 20 and 40 years behind bars.
Conley faces charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, two lesser counts of neglect, two counts of battery and maintaining a common nuisance, Gregg said. She two faces 20 to 40 years on her first charge.
Trials were set for each on Dec. 18, with preliminary hearings Sept. 22 and Oct. 27.
A bond hearing will be held for Hanney on Aug. 4.