Atelia Hunt, 25, and Mike Huckabee Jr., 29, appeared separately before Twelfth Circuit Judge Michael Nettles on Thursday at the courthouse.
Hunt and Huckabee are each charged with the Oct. 6 death of Edna Hunt.
Hunt brought the baby to Marlboro Park Hospital in Bennettsville on Oct. 6 after her heart had stopped beating. Officers were called to the hospital after an examination of the toddler’s body revealed that she had been abused for some time.
Bennettsville police Lt. Larry Turner said previously that the girl had significant bruising around her body, and burns to the buttocks and vaginal area.
The child’s death prompted the suspension of several employees at the Department of Social Services in Marlboro County pending an internal investigation.
During the hearing, Fourth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Kernard Redmond said the couple had previous run-ins with DSS but did not elaborate. Redmond could not be reached for this story.
Marlboro County Coroner Tim Brown testified during Huckabee’s hearing, saying Edna’s death was the worst case of child abuse he’d seen in 27 years on the job.
“Anytime you deal with the death of a child, it’s more traumatic, not just for the family, but for the people involved, law enforcement as well as myself,” Brown said.
The full autopsy has not been completed, he said.
A funeral for the child was held Oct. 17 in Pembroke.