Local/State

Mother charged with murder appears in court

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Fayetteville woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 4-year-old daughter made her first court appearance Tuesday.

According to court documents, 36-year-old Jaime Gardner Morris is accused of killing her daughter Bella on Nov. 5.

Morris was also charged with intentional child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.

During Tuesday's court appearance, Morris cried as a judge read her charges.

The child lived with her grandparents, but on Nov. 5 Bella was visiting her mother and waiting for her grandfather to come pick her up. It was around 5:30 p.m. when detectives were called to the home on Elcone Drive. The child's grandfather dialed 911 for help after finding Bella unresponsive in the living room, authorities said.

In a 911 call, the grandfather told the operator Bella was completely unresponsive.

An autopsy, performed by the State Medical Examiner, determined that Bella died of asphyxiation.

While detectives began their investigation, Jaime Morris was transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center after attempting suicide.

She was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.

Morris is being held without bond in the Cumberland County Detention Center.

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cumberland county, homicide, local/state
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