The couple accused of killing 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett officially pleaded not guilty Thursday during their arraignment in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
Sierra Day (Aniya's mother) and her boyfriend Deonte Lewis were both indicted earlier this week on charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, permitting child abuse, endangering children, and tampering with evidence. A judge maintained their bond at $1 million each.
Aniya Day-Garrett died on Mar. 11 following a stroke which investigators say was caused by severe blows to the head. Her death has sparked outrage from abuse survivor advocates who claim state and local officials did not do enough to protect her, and multiple daycare centers have been accused of failing to report Aniya's abuse.
Both centers, Harbor Crest Childcare Academy and Get Ready, Set, Grow in Euclid, have since been cited by the state of Ohio, and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley is also exploring the possibility of criminal charges. County Executive Armond Budish has already appointed a panel of child welfare experts to review the case.
A pretrial hearing for Day and Lewis has been set for Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Timothy McCormick.