Father charged with murder in 2-month-old girl’s death pleads not guilty; $1M bond stands

HAMILTON— A father charged with murder for allegedly abusing his infant daughter in Fairfield that resulted in her death was back in court Thursday where he was appointed an attorney and entered not guilty pleas.

John Lincoln Powers, 24, was co-parenting his 2-month-old child, Kiara, at a residence on Merlin Way in May when the incident occurred, according prosecutors. He went to Gainsville, Texas, after the death of his daughter and was arrested there after the indictment was handed down on Dec. 12.

Credit: Butler County Jail

Credit: Butler County Jail

The Butler County Coroner’s Office listed Kiara’s death as a homicide with the cause of death being blunt head trauma.

Powers was transported back to Ohio and booked into the Butler County Jail on Dec. 19. He was arraigned by common pleas Judge Jennifer McElfresh on Dec. 21, who set bond at $1 million.

At Thursday’s hearing, defense attorney Arcia Underwood requested a bond reduction. McElfresh denied the motion. Powers is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 26 for a hearing where a trial date may be set.

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During the early morning hours of May 10, Powers called 911 saying the baby was unresponsive. She was transported to an area hospital and pronounced dead, according to prosecutors.

The indictment states the abuse occurred between April 3 and May 10. Prosecutors say the abuse was not apparent to the mother of the child and happened when the baby was in the care of Powers.

Police and the coroner’s office conducted an investigation that resulted in the indictment.

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