Columbia man accused of murder pleads not guilty

Cody Baker charged after death of 8-month-old girl

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia man accused of murder in the death of an 8-month-old girl appeared in Boone County Court Monday afternoon.

Cody Baker, 31, was charged with murder in February after the infant died. An investigation found the girl died of physical trauma, not natural causes.

Baker was arraigned Monday and pleaded not guilty in the death of Finley Steele.

Columbia police said the girl died at University Hospital after being found unresponsive in a home on Woodridge Drive. The investigation said she died of blunt trauma to the head and had been shaken.

Anna Steele posted a $25,000 cash bond and was ordered to live with her parents and her sister under GPS monitoring on April 10. Under the court order, Steele cannot leave that home except for court appearances and to meet with her attorney.

Steele told investigators she had not killed her daughter, but believed Baker had abused her.

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