CANTON, Ohio – Lawyers for a former police officer accused in the death of his pregnant girlfriend are challenging prosecutors to back up their claim that he admitted the crime to a friend.
Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, never told a co-defendant he killed Jessie Davis, 26, who died in June, according to documents filed by his defense. In a motion to be discussed at a hearing Friday, the lawyers accuse Stark County prosecutors of trying to influence potential jurors and the community with wrong information.
Cutts is charged with multiple counts of murder, burglary, gross abuse of a corpse and endangering children. His trial is set to start in late January or early February and he could face the death penalty if convicted.
In its motion, the defense wrote that if prosecutors have evidence of the alleged admission, including grand jury testimony, they must turn it over. Prosecutors deny withholding evidence or misleading the public.
Stark County Common Pleas Judge Charles E. Brown Jr. set a hearing for Friday afternoon. A gag order imposed by the judge prohibits lawyers from commenting on the case other than at court hearings or in motions.
In court papers, prosecutors have said Cutts admitted to an acquaintance, Myisha Ferrell, that he killed Davis and her unborn daughter. Ferrell pleaded guilty in November to obstructing justice and complicity to gross abuse of a corpse, and has agreed to testify at Cutts' trial.
In court papers, Cutts' attorneys also have renewed their request for Brown to dismiss parts of the indictment that could bring the death penalty, saying the prosecution has failed to provide supporting evidence. Brown denied a similar request Tuesday.
Davis' mother, Patricia Porter, found her 2 1/2-year-old grandson alone June 15 in Davis' home in Lake Township, near North Canton. The boy, Blake, provided authorities with the first clues, saying: "Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in rug."
After a highly publicized search, Davis' body was found June 23 in a park about 20 miles away. Her pregnancy was nearly at full term.
Cutts is the father of Blake and Davis' family has said Cutts also was the father of her unborn daughter. He resigned as a Canton patrolman after his arrest.