(columbiatribune.com) - A 24-year-old woman accused of second-degree murder in the death of her infant daughter posted bond and was released from the Boone County Jail on Wednesday, two days after a judge agreed to reduce her bond from $1 million cash.
Anna E. Steele was released at 2:40 p.m. to Boone County Adult Court Services and fitted with an electronic monitoring device before she was allowed to go home.
Boone County Circuit Judge Deborah Daniels on Monday changed her bond to $250,000/10 percent with the stipulations that she be on GPS monitoring and reside at 504 Woodridge Drive with her parents and sister and not leave the residence except for court or to meet with her attorney.
Steele also was ordered to abstain from any intoxicants or "imitation controlled substances or drug paraphernalia," according to online court records, and avoid contact with codefendant Cody M. Baker and anyone younger than 17.
Police arrested Steele and her boyfriend, 31-year-old Baker, Feb. 28 after emergency personnel responded to the house on Woodridge on a report of an infant who wasn't breathing.
Both were charged with second-degree murder when an autopsy found the Finley Steele had died of "massive blunt trauma to the head and also showed evidence of being shaken," according to a probable cause statement.
Andrew Popplewell, Steele's attorney, said previously that Baker is the sole culprit in Finley's death and that Steele did not know Baker was abusing her daughter.
Popplewell's claim contradicts the probable cause statement that says Steele told police she noticed a pattern of injuries to her daughter after Baker moved in with her in their lower-level apartment on Woodridge in January.
Baker's bond is $2 million, cash only. A bond investigation document filed with Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Larry Bryson on March 4 recommended no change and Bryson ordered none. Baker's public defender, Merce'de Savala, withdrew as his attorney March 25 because Baker retained a private counselor, Columbia-based Kay Evans, according to court documents. Evans has not filed an entry of appearance to represent Baker and could not be reached for comment this morning.
Steele has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 22 in Boone County Associate Circuit Court. Popplewell this morning said he did not know whether the hearing will be conducted then or continued. Baker has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 14.
Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight declined to comment on the case because it is pending.