Mother, boyfriend denied bond in death of toddler

Hunt (Source: BPD)
Hunt (Source: BPD)
Huckabee's bond was denied Thursday (Source: BPD)
Huckabee's bond was denied Thursday (Source: BPD)

BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) Nearly a month after a 3-year-old child died from what investigators say was abuse, the toddler's mother and her boyfriend have been denied bond Thursday.

Mike Huckabee Jr. faced a judge at 10 a.m. at the Marlboro County courthouse and bond was denied. Family members told WMBF News Reporter Crystal Moyer they were relieved bond was denied, and said it was a horrible situation.

James Jacobs, the young girl's grandfather attended both hearings, sitting in the front row.

"It was hard to take, just seeing him and all, knowing the way the child's been abused," said Jacobs.

Jacobs stood in front of the court room and made a couple statements during the hearings. He was happy about the no bond ruling.

During Atelia Hunt's bond hearing shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, Judge Nettles asked Hunt why Edna was bald when she was taken to the hospital, when she was shown to have long hair in recent family photos.

Hunt's attorney claims Huckabee shaved Edna's head weeks before her death without Hunt's consent.

Assistant Solicitor Kernard Redmond says he is unsure at what point Edna was shaved but said hospital personnel nor the coroner shaved the little girl bald. He says she arrived at the hospital bald.

Redmond also says the couple had multiple run-ins with DSS in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Judge Nettles read through letters from Hunt's family and friends, pleading her innocence.

He then denied her bond as well.

Marlboro County Coroner Tim Brown also attended the bond hearing, at one point showing the judge photo's taken of the child when she was brought to the hospital.

During the hearing Brown says that in the 27 years he has been a coroner, this was the worst case he's ever seen.

"Anytime you deal with the death of a child, it's more traumatic, not just for the family, but for the people involved, law enforcement as well as myself," said Brown.

Hunt's family members, including her sister were at the hearing. Her sister was shaking her head during the ruling for no bond.

On the other hand, Jacobs was happy with the outcome and says he hopes Hunt and Huckabee get what he believes they deserve.

"They don't deserve to see outside again the way they did this child," said Jacobs.

Huckabee has a son currently living with his aunt in Florence and Hunt's older daughter is staying with James Jacobs, their grandfather.

On Oct. 6, Bennettsville Police responded to the Marlboro Park Hospital in reference to the death of a toddler. Further investigation alleged Hunt and Huckabee abused 3-year-old Edna Hunt, resulting in her death.

Lt. Larry Turner with the Bennettsville Police Department said Edna was found with burns to her genital area and a preliminary examination indicted she had been abused for some time.

Weeks later, Edna's family held a funeral for her in Pembroke.

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