A man accused of killing a baby and burying her in a small grave professed his innocence as he asked for bond ahead of his trial.
“I was just really at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Daquan Simmons said Tuesday in Horry County court. “I would never do anything like that.”
Myrtle Beach police started an investigation in September 2017 about a missing child, said assistant solicitor Mary Ellen Walter. Investigators determined the baby, 8-month-old Aaliyana McCoy, died in July the same year.
The baby’s mother, LaDasha Harriett, also was charged in connection to the case. Simmons was Harriett’s boyfriend and the two lived together. Walters said Harriett told officers that Simmons beat the baby to death, left the apartment with Aaliyana in a car seat and returned without the baby.
Several days later, Simmons went back to the field in the Socastee area where he left Aaliyana and buried her in a shallow grave, Walters said.
In court on Tuesday, a judge entered a not guilty plea on Simmons’ behalf after he said he didn’t understand how a trial worked or the law.
Defense Attorney Ralph Wilson Sr. argued that his client has been in jail for nearly two years and should be released on bond. A previous bond request was denied and prosecutors said there has been no change to make Simmons any less of a danger or a flight risk.
Judge Benjamin Culbertson denied Simmons’ bond request.
Simmons’ trial could occur as soon as next month after he again rejected a plea offer that would have put him behind bars for 20 years.