Accused Killer in For the Fight of His Life

Bobby Cutts, Jr.
Bobby Cutts, Jr.
Myisha Ferrell
Myisha Ferrell
Jessie Davis and son, Blake
Jessie Davis and son, Blake

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - A grand jury indicted a Canton police officer Thursday on three counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn daughter.

Bobby Cutts Jr. could receive the death penalty if convicted in the June death of Jessie Davis, whose disappearance drew national attention as thousands gathered to search for her in the area surrounding her northeast Ohio home.

The murder indictments allege that Cutts killed Davis, terminated her pregnancy, and caused the death of a viable unborn child, "baby Chloe." Cutts, 30, also faces two counts of gross abuse of a corpse and one count each of aggravated burglary and endangering children.

Myisha Ferrell, a high school classmate of Cutts, was indicted on charges of obstructing justice and complicity to abuse of a corpse. Prosecutors say she helped dispose of Davis' body.

A trial would begin by late September, within 90 days of Cutts' arrest, unless defense attorneys waive the defendants' right to a speedy trial.

"We're fully prepared to go to trial," Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero said.

Prosecutors want the trial held in Stark County. Defense attorneys could file for a change in venue because of the case's heavy publicity.

Cutts' attorney Myron Watson said he would comment after he had a chance to review the indictment.

The aggravated burglary charge against Cutts alleges he entered Davis' home, where she was killed on June 14. The endangering children charge relates to their son, 2 1/2-year-old Blake Davis, who was found alone in the home a day later, wearing a dirty diaper.

Assistant prosecutor Dennis Barr would not elaborate on the reason for the abuse of a corpse charges against Cutts.

Davis' family says Cutts, who is being held on a $5 million bond, was also the father of the baby girl who was due to be delivered July 3. The patrolman was suspended without pay from his job in June.

Davis' mother, Patricia Porter, was informed of the indictment Thursday morning.

"As long as he gets a fair trial and she can explain what happened one day, that's all she cares about," said attorney Rick Pitinii, the family's spokesman.

Porter has custody of Blake and is focused on raising him, Pitinii said.

Asked how Porter felt about the potential of the state executing Blake's father, Pitinii said, "I don't know that she's comfortable with any of this. She's comfortable with the fact that prosecutors are doing their job."

Davis was reported missing when her mother went to her home to find Blake alone, bedroom furniture toppled and a pool of bleach on the floor.

Blake provided authorities with the first clues, saying: "Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in rug."

Authorities say Davis was killed in her home near North Canton, about 45 miles south of Cleveland. Davis' body, still carrying a nearly full-term fetus, was found nine days later about 25 miles away from her home in a remote area of a park.

Earlier this month, Summit County medical examiner Lisa Kohler said she was unable to determine how Davis was killed.

Kohler ruled that the manner of death was homicide but offered no other details, listing the cause as "unspecified homicidal violence."

Investigators had previously stated that the advanced decomposition of the body would make determining a cause difficult.

Cutts and Ferrell are to be arraigned Friday at the county's safety building, and pretrial hearings are scheduled for Monday.

Cutts faces a minimum of 25 years to life if convicted of aggravated murder.

Ferrell faces one to five years in prison if convicted of obstruction, and an additional six to 18 months if convicted on the complicity charge.