Death penalty sought for man suspected in Campbell County girl's

Death penalty sought for man suspected in Campbell County girl's death

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Joshua Comer pleads not guilty to charges of first degree murder. (WATE) Joshua Comer pleads not guilty to charges of first degree murder. (WATE)
Amber Orton pleads not guilty to aggravated child abuse. Amber Orton pleads not guilty to aggravated child abuse.
LAFOLLETE (WATE) - Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a man accused in the death of a 3-year-old Campbell County girl

A Campbell County special grand jury indicted Joshua Adam Comer, 33, Tuesday on first degree felony murder charges in the death of Gabriella Orton. The girl's mother, Amber Orton, was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse.

Both Comer and Orton were in court Friday morning where they each pleaded not guilty.

The judge says they'll meet again on July 28 in order to schedule a trial date for Comer and Orton.

Deputies say Joshua Comer took Gabriella Orton to LaFollete Medical Center's emergency room on June 10. She was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival.

Officials say there was visible evidence of serious physical abuse, but final autopsy results are still pending.

"The victim in this case was 3-years-old and our decision to seek the death penalty, her age was a substantial factor," said District Attorney Lori Phillips-Jones.

At this point, Comer and Orton are on the same indictment, which means they'll be tried together.

Previous story: Officials arrest mother, looking for man accused of murdering 3-year-old Campbell Co. girl

Previous story: Man suspected in Campbell County girl's death arrested

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