Parents facing murder charges in death of toddler

A Coweta County couple accused in the death of their two-year-old daughter was in court Friday morning for a preliminary hearing.  The mother Elizabeth Lee faced a murder charge and a judge upgraded the charges against the father Daniel Lee to include murder.

The father of Aleigha Lee arrived at court charged only with cruelty to children. Daniel Lee left court charged second-degree homicide.

But an investigator with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office testified it was the mother Elizabeth Lee who allegedly inflicted the injuries on the child. Aleigha suffered bruises head to toe, burns in both ears as well as multiple leg burn caused by hot hair straightener capable of reaching a temperature of 410 degrees.

RELATED: Deputies: Burns may have played a role in toddler's death

Lt. Elaine Jordan, Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, testified: “It was in the stages of where the tissues where dead. The cells were dead and most likely, if the child had lived, the leg would have had to have been amputated.

FOX 5 was there last month at the family’s home when investigators went back to the crime scene in search of drugs.  Jordan testified that the couple confessed to not seeking medical attention for their daughter because they were meth addicts who had lost their 5 children before to DFACS.

“They were so consumed with meth that they didn’t want DFACS back in their life,” Jordan said on the stand.

Elizabeth and Daniel Lee were the first graduates of a special drug court that allowed them to get their five children back from state care. They have since had a sixth child. The detective testified that immediately after graduating the couple celebrated by getting high on meth.

Daniel and Elizabeth Lee will now head to trial in superior court in Coweta County. 

RELATED: Couple charged in death of 2-year-old daughter