NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - A Newton County mother charged with the murder of her toddler daughter went before a judge Thursday morning.
Jennifer Bellah, 31, had her first appearance hearing at the Newton County Jail in the shooting death of 2-year-old Natalya Bellah. She appeared wearing a green suicide prevention outfit and was represented by public defender Anthony Carter.
Bellah, who's charged with murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm, is being held without bond. Her probable cause hearing is scheduled for October 10 at 8:30 a.m.
She appeared quiet in court Thursday morning, only saying "yes ma'am" to the questions she was asked.
Following the hearing, Carter released a statement regarding Bellah's mental health.
"In the weeks and days prior, including the day of the tragic death of her 2-year-old daughter, Natalya, Ms. Bellah sought and received treatment for mental health issues. Given Ms. Bellah's tenuous mental health, we commend the Newton County Sheriff's Department for outfitting her in a 'suicide suit,' a protective garment designed to prevent a person from harming themselves, while she is being held at the jail and during her first appearance this morning."
Carter went on to say his office will fully investigate the mental health aspects of the case.
Sheriff’s officials told FOX 5 Bellah called 911 from her home on Brown Thrasher Run in Oxford just before 6 p.m. Tuesday night. Investigators said she "advised that she had shot her daughter.”
When deputies responded to the home, they found the toddler's body. The Newton County Coroner pronounced the little girl dead at the scene.
Deputies executed a search warrant for the home on Brown Thrasher Run to collect evidence. Investigators said deputies recovered a firearm, a spent shell casing, and spent bullets from inside the home.
Investigators believe the mother and daughter were the only two people inside at the time.