Bail set at $100K for baby sitter charged in toddlers death
The baby sitter for toddler Ginny Rose Hughes has been charged with homicide by child abuse after a 12-hour coroner’s inquest Friday into the cause of the toddler’s death.
Alicia Stepp appeared in bond court this morning where Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten set bond at $100,000.
Stepp wore a gray-and-white striped jail uniform as she listened to Wooten read the charge against her. She said nothing other than to acknowledge Wooten’s statements about issues such as appointement of a public defender to represent her.
“I’m shocked right now,” said Amanda Montagu, Ginny’s mother. She declined further comment.
Stepp, 17, was a live-in babysitter for Montagu and her three children at her North Charleston home. On July 2, the toddler was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. Stepp told investigators she found Ginny unresponsive in bed that morning. Ginny was pronounced dead on July 4.
The coroner’s inquest jury ruled that Stepp caused the death of Ginny. The three-man, three-woman panel found that Ginny died as a result of “exteme indifference to human life.”
After the hearing, Wooten issued an arrest warrant for Stepp, who was taken to the Cannon Detention Center Friday night by sheriff’s deputies.
“The statute provides for that,” Wooten said today after the bond hearing.
She said a tremendous amount of energy went into the investigation.
“I was more and more concerned as we went forward in our investigation,” she said.
Wooten said she felt it was her responsibility to do everything possible to find out about the unusual death of the small, vulnerable child.
“The more we learned, the more I recognized that this (situation) was a tremendous problem,” she said. “They brought back a verdict that was justice for Ginny.”