Couple accused of killing 3-year-old appear in court

Relatives of Edna Hunt

Atelia Hunt and Michael Huckabee appeared before Judge Michael Baxley in a Bennettsville courtroom for a status hearing Wednesday.

The two are charged with homicide by child abuse in the death of Hunt's daughter, Edna Trinity Hunt, 3. Huckabee is also charged with criminal sexual conduct against the child.

The toddler died last October from unusual complications of untreated wounds and multiple inflicted traumas, according to the Marlboro County Coroner's Office.

During the hearing, it was determined that Huckabee and Hunt will be tried separately in December because they have very different defenses.

The suspects didn't say anything during the hearing. The child's paternal grandmother says she's ready for the case to move forward and thought it would happen a lot sooner than December.

"I was kind of hoping it would get on going before then. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. But I hope they get maximum punishment allowed by these courts. I hope they receive that ," said Sarah Jacobs.

Jacobs says it was hard for her to sit in the courtroom and see her former daughter-in-law and Huckabee. "It's not good. It's the first time I seen her since it happened. I had never seen him before until like in the newspaper and stuff. It's not easy for any of us."

Attorneys for the Fourth Circuit Solicitor's Office told the judge they have received records from the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) pertaining to this case.

The records include notes from a DSS investigator. The judge is considering if the suspects' attorneys should get copies of the notes. He will make a decision on that in the near future. In the meantime, Hunt and Huckabee will appear in court again on October 1 for pre-trial matters.