Sarah Bierly, 30, Pekin pled not-guilty in Washington County Circuit Court Thursday morning to the charges against her in the death of the two-year-old daughter of her live-in boyfriend.
Judge Larry Medlock appointed Mark Clark to represent her and also ordered her held without bail.
The charges were read to Bierly along with her rights and possible penalties.
She told the court she might try to hire an attorney and Medlock appointed an indigent counsel until she was able to hire someone.
Clark filed an objection to notice of intent to admit laboratory report and demand for cross-examination.
Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Dustin Houchin amended the original charges for Bierly to include Murder and Aggravated Battery in the death of Misty Ann McDowell late Monday night.
Bierly was arrested Monday and is still incarcerated at the Washington County Detention Center.
She was initially charged with Neglect of a Dependent Causing Death, a Level 1 Felony.
After an autopsy was completed by Washington County Coroner Peg Schell this afternoon and Forensic Pathologist Dr. James M. Jacobi, police amended the charges to include murder and aggravated battery.
Jacobi recorded the manner of death to be homicide due to “multiple blunt force injuries.”
On Wednesday, ISP detective Travis Baker met again with Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin concerning the case.
As a result of the investigation and findings in the case, the Washington County Prosecutor has added the following charges in the arrest of Sarah Bierly:
- Murder – Felony
- Aggravated Battery resulting in Death – Level 1 Felony
Bierly is also charged with the original crime of Neglect of a Dependent causing Death, a level 1 Felony.
“This case will require our best,” said Houchin. “Thankfully, our office has the experience, training, and determination necessary to meet this moment. We will see that justice is served in this case.”