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More than 100 cases were on Hardin Circuit Judge Ken Howard’s criminal docket Tuesday, but Barry Wayne Williams Jr., 21, was called first.
The Elizabethtown man was indicted Thursday in the death of his 6-month-old daughter, Aleyah Noelle Williams. On Tuesday, Williams pleaded not guilty to murder during his arraignment.
Aleyah’s mother and her friends and family filled nearly two rows in the courtroom gallery as Williams entered his plea.
Also in attendance were Elizabethtown police detectives Matt Coogle and Matt Hodge and the department’s chaplain, Ray Hicks.
EPD spokesman Virgil Willoughby said the death of a baby is emotional for all parties involved and having a chaplain present to support the officers and the family is important.
Aleyah died Feb. 26 at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville. She was buried March 2 in St. James Cemetery in Elizabethtown.
Elizabethtown detectives responded Feb. 25 to Kosair after medical staff contacted the department about a patient who sustained injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Through their investigation, police said they determined Williams was caring for Aleyah when she suffered the injuries.
In an interview, Williams told detectives he was giving his daughter a bath when he dropped her on the floor, according to police.
Police said he admitted to shaking Aleyah to stop her crying and then put her to bed.
Williams is lodged at Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of a $250,000 cash bond.
He is being represented by the Department of Public Advocacy and is scheduled to appear April 23 for a pre-trial conference.
Sarah Bennett can be reached (270) 505-1750 or email@example.com.